OSHKOSH, Wis. — As a vended laundry owner, you’ve got to have more than just one large-capacity washer-extractor (range of 80 to 130 pounds) on the floor.
Why? To help your business offer capacities beyond the typical home or apartment washer offering. Large-capacity washers can help you stand apart from the competition, are more profitable than smaller washers, and attract both traditional and non-traditional customers — allowing you to appeal to your entire demographic.
When carefully selected, large-capacity washers can positively impact your business for years to come.
Offer what your competitors don’t. Most vended laundries lack large-capacity washers. Give customers a reason to want to do laundry at your store, rather than at their apartment complex laundry or home. Given the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, items like bedding and towels are being washed more frequently. This trend will most likely continue. A big washer will attract big loads and diversify your base of business.
ATTRACT CUSTOMERS FROM YOUR ENTIRE DEMOGRAPHIC
By offering large-capacity machines, you’ll draw customers from your entire demographic. Homeowners and renters will come to do bulky items that homestyle washers can’t handle, including comforters, rugs, blankets and sleeping bags. During slow operating hours, your laundry attendants can utilize these machines for cleaning big loads quickly.
ENJOY GREATER PROFITS
Large-capacity washers often prove to be the most popular washers on the floor. As washer capacity grows larger, so does the turn ratio. Also, keep in mind that large machines cost less per pound of capacity to operate than smaller machines. And, because your competitors don’t have them, you are not price-competing with other laundries.
SOFT MOUNT VS. HARD MOUNT
Hard-mount washers of this size category require 12 to 18 inches of concrete and need 2 feet of access space behind them for installation and operation. A soft-mount model has less negative impact on the store (no vibrating bolts out of the floor), can be easily installed, and generate up to 400 G-force extract speeds for more moisture removal, faster dry times and less natural gas consumed. Using a commercial grade soft-mount, customers can be in and out of a store in less than an hour.
Commercial soft-mount washer technology began in the 1960s and has proven effective in every laundry sector.
Customers should not have to load their own soap products on large-capacity washers. With an automatic chemical-injection feature, they simply load and pay. There are systems on the market that disperse soaps and softeners and work seamlessly with these washers. The feature will boost customer turnover and provide superior results, while increasing bottom-line profits. Moreover, cleaning products have low overhead costs and more profitability that you can put to work for you.
Choose a washer that can work in concert with chemicals, pump systems, ozone or UV disinfection systems, especially given the world’s current COVID-19 pandemic. Ozone, chemicals and UV — when automatically injected into the wash cycle — can sanitize laundry.
Also, look for washers with available auxiliary electric heat kits. These can heat water to very high temperatures for sustained periods without upgrading your hot water system. If you plan to meet Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, washers must be programmable by temperature to hit and hold 160 F. This heating feature can provide you with a dual-income opportunity to use your vended washer as a commercial washer after normal hours of operation. Investments in large-capacity washers can be significant, so choose models that offer you the most flexibility.
In general, larger-capacity washers with programmable controls and the ability to offer a la carte cycles, as well as ozone and automatic soap/softener injection, can attract new customers, retain existing customers, and diversify and increase revenue streams. They also allow you to expand into new markets while minimizing major infrastructure improvements.
Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Bruce Beggs at [email protected].