Description: The Express Laundry Center brand teams highly efficient, high-speed laundry equipment and multiple services with local marketing and management support. It is a complete store solution available to investors only through Continental Girbau Inc. Opportunities: Single and multi-unit opportunities available throughout the United States and Canada. Business Type: Business Opportunity. Minimum Cash Required: $75,000. Financing Assistance: Yes, from the company. Training Provided: Yes.
Through CustomSelect™ Financing, Continental Girbau offers flexible financing and competitive fixed rates to all qualifying applicants. Financing allows you to retain full ownership of your business and its assets while helping to preserve your cash, liquidity and revolving lines of credit for emergency use, working capital and other investments.
Express Laundry Center is quickly capturing market share in Huntington Beach, Calif.
Business and entrepreneurship graduate Dan Sofranko ventures into the vended laundry business.
The five-month-old Perfect Wash Express Laundry Center is quickly capturing market share in Huntington Beach, Calif. A rapidly growing wash/dry/fold business contributes 25 percent of revenue. Meanwhile the laundry’s 60-minute self-service promise attracts traditional customers in droves.
A business and entrepreneurship graduate of University of Southern California, owner Dan Sofranko ventured into the vended laundry business after careful research and preparation. “It’s a simple business model where I can offer customers something above and beyond,” he said. “I didn’t have to reinvent the wheel, I just had to polish it up.”
And that’s what he did. Sofranko gutted an existing laundry and developed a card-operated Express Laundry Center®. Express Laundry Centers, he attests, are unlike other vended laundries because owners benefit from a proven and branded concept, marketing assistance, operational and training guidance, and lower utilities, among other perks. Perfect Wash Express Laundry Center boasts an average of three to four turns daily. Meanwhile, utilities make up a measly 8-10 percent of revenue—far better than the national average of 26 percent, according to a recent Coin Laundry Association industry survey. Sofranko confirms he’s happy with such quick results.
Green equipment and features
The store’s success grew from careful planning, high-speed Continental equipment and “green” technologies and features. At 1,800 square feet, it’s equipped with Continental ExpressWash® washers, including 19 20s, nine 40s and four 55s. Complementing the washers are Continental drying tumblers—six 45- and nine 30-pound capacity dual-pocket stacks. The store also harnesses a highly efficient Hamilton water heater and storage tank, compact florescent pendant lighting, reclaimed tabletops and solar tube lighting.
During construction, 5,000 pounds of materials were recycled. All told, Perfect Wash Express Laundry Center is designed for streamlined efficiency and a tiny carbon footprint.
While the Hamilton water heater and storage tank reduce the natural gas needed to heat water, the solar tubes and florescent pendants lower electricity consumption. Similarly, the high-speed ExpressWash washers work to cut all three—water, natural gas and electricity.
The Express wash difference
ExpressWash washers, which are freestanding and simple to install, reach extract speeds of up to 384 G-force. This is far greater than the typical hard-mount washers seen in most laundromats, according to Van Merrill of Continental Girbau West, a laundry equipment distributor serving Southern California. Merrill, who worked closely with Sofranko on the Express Laundry Center project, attests that traditional hard-mount washers typically only generate extract speeds of 75-200 G-force. “By producing more than double the G-force, ExpressWash washers remove more water from every load which significantly cuts resulting dry time and natural gas usage,” said Merrill. Thus, customers can wash, dry and fold laundry in under an hour. Simultaneously, Sofranko saves on utility costs. In addition to cutting natural gas and electricity consumption, ExpressWash washers also use less water when compared to other washers on the market, according to Merrill. “Their sumpless design saves up to three gallons of water per fill,” he said. Additionally, they feature water-saving AquaFall® and AquaMixer® technologies, which contribute to overall water and energy savings. Lower utilities position the laundry for improved profits, maintains Sofranko.
To maximize opportunity, laundry attendants use available equipment to process full-service wash/dry/fold—capturing business from area professionals. Sofranko expects this flourishing segment to ultimately contribute 50 percent of total store revenue!
Meanwhile, a dense rental demographic fuels the store’s self-service side. Customers relish the new, well-lit, green-focused laundry. Its 60-minute promise sets it apart.
In and out in 60 minutes
Thanks to Perfect Wash Express Laundry Center’s high-speed washers, self-service customers can completely wash, dry and fold laundry in under an hour. “At first, customers raised their eyebrows at our 18-minute wash cycles,” admitted Sofranko. “But, it works. Eighteen minutes on the standard wash cycle is the ticket. Customers are blown away by how well the washers work. It’s an educational process to tell customers they don’t need to see a lot of suds, because the washers use less water, but the results are terrific. Customers notice a difference in the wash quality and they love the time savings.”
ProfitPlus® control allows customers to select ‘extras’
Customers, according to Sofranko, also enjoy more control over how their laundry is cleaned. The washers feature a ProfitPlus control, which allows customers to add an “extra” WASH, RINSE and/or DELICATE cycle to a primary cycle option (SUPERWASH, an extra-long cycle for heavy soil; HOT, for whites; WARM for colorfast and permanent press items; and COLD for colors). Anytime an “extra” is selected, it adds to overall revenue. “A quarter of my customers opt for an ‘extra’ wash, rinse or delicate cycle,” said Sofranko. “The control gives them more options to customize the wash process without over complicating it.”
ProfitPlus & Card concepts simplify store management
Facilitating ease of management, the laundry’s Card concepts card system seamlessly communicates with the control, allowing Sofranko to quickly change vend prices and programs on multiple machines simultaneously. “From my cell phone, I can adjust equipment settings, issue new cards and change vend prices remotely,” he said. “When the laundry first opened, I programmed eight days of free washes, which really brought people into the store.” Once in the door, customers were hooked. “They relish the store’s constant cleanliness, safety and amenities,” said Sofranko.
A hands-on laundry owner, he is exuberant about Perfect Wash Express Laundry Center’s growth and future potential. While the laundry is still in its infancy, it’s quickly gaining new clients through quality, time-saving service and a safe, comfortable experience.
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