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Multi-store Operator Performs Laundry CPR (Conclusion)

Marketing hooks draw customers, keep them coming back

VALENCIA, Calif. — “Can I take an existing store that’s failing and make it work?” Art Jaeger recalls asking prior to purchasing what is now Valencia Express Laundry. “Does a good operator really make a difference?”

Jaeger, a multi-store owner and developer, ultimately decided to give it a go. Eleven months later, after a light renovation, the laundry generates 50% more revenue and, for the first time, offers a growing drop-off wash/dry/fold service.

SUMMER OPENING

Valencia Express Laundry remained open during renovations, which were completed in June 2018.

Eager to spread the word about the new, improved store, Jaeger hit marketing hard. He and daughter Natalie hosted a grand opening and utilized social media, signage, banners, promotions, direct mail and the web to remarket the store and regain its reputation in the community.

“I had developed all my other laundries from scratch, in a neutral position, where customers were excited about our entry into the market,” he says. “But I figured if I at least broke even, I’d still benefit because I could run Laundry Butler for You, my residential laundry pickup and delivery service, out of my new laundry.”

Each month, sales improved at Valencia Express Laundry, according to Jaeger, and so did his Laundry Butler for You service.

O IS FOR OZONE

In January of this year, striving to stand apart, Jaeger added ozone to the store’s Continental washers. The machines were already key to shortening the wash/dry/fold process for customers to under an hour, Now, Jaeger harnessed their flexibility to add Sano3Wash ozone injection—and with it—sanitization.

The ozone, which is injected into the cold-water supply of each Continental washer, kills bacteria, viruses and superbugs in the wash, effectively sanitizing laundry, according to Continental. Additionally, ozone works to loosen fibers and break down and wash away soil and stains. In the end, ozone results in cleaner laundry and requires less hot water, which helps lower utility costs, according to Jaeger.

But ozone also works as a marketing hook for drawing customers in and keeping them coming back. And Jaeger uses that in conjunction with the Continental washers’ ProfitPlus Controls.

“It’s the most flexible control on the market today,” says Jaeger, “and it allows me to program every variable of the wash process.” ProfitPlus offers Superwash, Warm, Hot and Cold selections, plus the option of adding an extra wash, rinse or spin. “Every washer is sanitized all the time, but if customers want to add the power of ozone to their laundry, they can add an extra rinse that’s ozonated” for another quarter.

Prior to adding ozone, the extra rinse add-on was selected 8% of the time, he says. With the ozone, it’s selected 24% of the time.

To call out the ozone option, Jaeger plastered informational stickers directly on the washers.

But the ozone isn’t reserved only for self-service customers. Jaeger markets it for drop-off wash/dry/fold and his Laundry Butler service.

BUILDING ON SUCCESS

Nearly a year in, Jaeger says he has successfully rekindled the faltering laundry. “We broke even from the second month and started making money in September 2018,” he says. Today, self-service revenue is up 50%, vending is up 80%, and drop-off wash/dry/fold has grown steadily to contribute 8% of total revenue.

“Now, the business is paying the loan, rent and a full staff of employees and still making money,” says Jaeger, who seems to have answered his own question about a good operator making a difference.

Miss Part 1? You can read it HERE.