Speed Queen Commercial

Mike Nemetz - Manteca, Calif.

Scalability was the name of the game for Mike Nemetz. He came into the laundry business with an eye on rapidly growing to multiple locations to hasten his exit from corporate America. To do this, he needed a distribution partner he could trust and an equipment technology that gave him the tools to scale. He found a knowledgeable distribution partner in PWS-The Laundry Co. and Speed Queen equipment provided him the remote access he required to manage his businesses from more than an hour away.

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Ross Dodds and Russel Pinkard - West Hollywood, Calif.

Ross Dodds and his husband, Russel Pinkard, went all-in on the vended laundry business, opening three laundries in the span of roughly one year. With that type of aggressive start, the pair was looking to leverage technology as much as possible. Speed Queen's Quantum™ Gold networking system gave them access to much needed data on store operations to make smart decisions and deliver a higher level of profitability.

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Mickey Mitchell – Monahan, Texas

Former high school teacher and football coach, Mickey Mitchell, reached retirement and was looking for an opportunity to invest in a small business. He and four other investors saw an unmet need in their town and opened a laundromat, the Texas Wash Tub, equipped with Speed Queen's Quantum™ Gold networking system. This industry-leading program has allowed Mitchell to set time-of-day pricing, monitor cash flow and profitability, and generate financial reports for members of his ownership group.

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Bill Kingsmill - Covington, Louisiana

In 2005, after Hurricane Katrina destroyed many businesses in his hometown, shopping center owner Bill Kingsmill decided to take over an existing laundromat in his shopping mall. Ten successful years later, Kingsmill has relocated and renovated his laundromat, replacing old machines with brand new Speed Queen equipment, which has increased profits and reduced utility expenses.

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Adrian Najera - Elgin, Illinois

When the Great Recession hit, electrical sales engineer Adrian Najera decided that opening a laundromat would fulfill his long-term financial needs. Najera opened Mi Lavanderia in 2009 and has since replaced all of his old machines with brand new Speed Queen equipment. He also offers ancillary services, such as calling cards, that add value to his laundry operation and provide revenue to his already profitable laundromat.

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Ed Ellis

Ed Ellis and his wife Rachael got into the laundry business to escape the 24/7 grind of the property management business. They use Quantum™ controls to implement special promotions, manage their revenue and program their machines anywhere they have an Internet connection, virtually eliminating the need for hands-on, around-the-clock management.

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Deechen Horton

California entrepreneur Deechen Horton saw an investment opportunity in coin laundry. She purchased an old, neglected laundromat and upgraded the equipment to reliable, high-performance Speed Queen commercial washers and dryers, giving customers what they're looking for and drastically improving profitability.

Jon Horn - Allentown, PA

Jon Horn discusses the benefits of owning eight successful Speed Queen laundromats, and the added value of replacing older equipment with newer, larger, energy efficient machines equipped with advanced Quantum™ Gold controls.

Building A Profitable Future

When Al Amiri was looking for supplemental income, he realized a coin laundromat business with Speed Queen® would generate high ROI with little effort. He now buys and refurbishes older laundromats to sell to other investors - helping them build their future with a stable, profitable business.

Ed and Rich McCobb

Ed and Rich McCobb invested in a coin laundromat for its flexibility and high ROI. And they partnered with Speed Queen® for reliable equipment with advanced Quantum® Controls. Speed Queen helped them from site demographics to store design to financing, and their profits quickly beat their expectations.

Phillip Viccinelli – Austin, TX

Phillip Viccinelli, owner of Washatopia in Georgetown and Austin, Texas, has been using Speed Queen machines for more than 17 years. See how the Quantum Gold control allows him to pull reports, change prices and manage his stores from anywhere in the world.

Ed Ellis – Winter Park, FL

Ed Ellis and his wife Rachael got into the laundry business to escape the 24/7 grind of the property management business. Discover how they use Quantum Gold's remote management technology to make their lives simpler, as they implement special promotions, manage their revenue and program their machines, all without leaving their own backyard.

Greg Fuhrman – Fort Collins, CO

Greg Fuhrman had a vision for his laundromat business in Colorado. That vision placed a heavy emphasis on technology to assist with efficiently running the venture. In this video, he discusses the benefits of his Quantum Gold networked store and life in a Quantum World.

Brian Brunckhorst – Hayward, CA

Brian Brunckhorst, of Advantage Laundry, uses Quantum Gold's remote management capabilities to work "on his business, not in his business." He manages vend prices and water settings from anywhere in the world, and receives email alerts if any of his machines need service. He also uses Quantum Gold to increase customer loyalty.

Ed Schmidt – Athens, TN

In virtually every retail outlet across America consumers are given the option to use their credit or debit card to pay for their purchases. But in about 99 percent of coin laundries, paying for washing and drying with these types of cards isn't an option.

Previously, the technology either wasn't available or it was too expensive. But times have changed. And if you're looking for a competitive edge or a revenue booster, retrofitting coin laundry equipment with credit/debit readers may be a great way of increasing profits.

Some Statistics

Credit and debit card statistics back up the argument for coin laundries to offer equipment with devices that take these cards.

By the end of 2010, MasterCard and Visa had more than 960 million credit and debit cards in circulation in the U.S., according to each card's website. And, consumers are more likely to purchase more when paying with credit and debit cards when compared to cash purchases, according to "The Survey of Consumer Payment Choice," Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

The First in Tennessee

When Ed Schmidt decided to open a laundromat in Athens, Tenn., he wanted to provide the optimum flexibility for his customers.

The Sullied Duck opened in June 2010 as the first laundromat in Tennessee to provide a credit/debit card system for laundry customers. The system is on 20 of the washers and dryers, giving customers the option to use coins or credit/debit cards.

The credit/debit card system has been popular with customers because they no longer have to carry large amounts of coins. Using a credit/debit card streamlines the laundry process because customers don't need to take steps to get cash or change before using the machines.

About 30 percent of customers use the credit/debit option, with 70 percent still using coins.

The laundromat also provides maximum flexibility with its mix of equipment. It offers 21 Speed Queen washers ranging in size from 20 pounds to 80 pounds, and 23 dryers ranging from 30 pounds to 75 pounds. The different sizes allow customers to choose the option that best suits their needs.

The Speed Queen patented Quantum Silver control system has been a helpful tool to Ed. Quantum allows Ed to monitor store activity including machine usage and water consumption. Quantum Silver also allows customers to select different wash cycles with varying temperatures and fill levels.

Ed wanted to make sure his customers had a great experience at his store so he added amenities like free Wi-Fi, flat panel televisions, an adult lounge and a children's lounge complete with video games to appeal to different audiences. He also offers a curbside drop-off service for those customers in a hurry and professional alterations.

Return on Investment

Laundromats have a traditionally high return on investment with low or no labor costs. They have the potential for first year ROI of up to 15-to-20 percent and a breakeven point on investment of less than a year.

Ed notes that the laundromat has been a good investment. The store has been in the black since the third month of opening. Ed attributes the success to a combination of factors: service, equipment, ambiance and the added value benefits available.

Customers see the value of the Speed Queen machines, recognizing that they're top of the line, have better wash cycles and are dependable. The amenities, along with good customer service, help keep a steady flow of attendance and drive repeat business.

The credit/debit card machines have helped give The Sullied Duck its competitive advantage. Customers are using more expensive cycles since they no longer have to carry coins and are willing to break up larger loads, using more machines. With the amount of people who rely on credit/debit cards every day, the system will undoubtedly become more popular over time.

Importance of the Right Distributor

Ed partnered with Star Distributing of Tennessee when he decided to open The Sullied Duck. From day one, they worked with him to provide information on the laundry industry, including location selection, store layout and equipment mix. They also helped Ed set up financing through Alliance Laundry Systems.

Star Distributing was a great partner when it came to establishing the credit/debit card system as they had familiarity with the set-up and made sure The Sullied Duck was equipped with the right machines for the system.

Star Distributing continues to be a resource for Ed. They stop by to do routine maintenance, as well as conduct training to keep Schmidt and his staff up to date with the industry developments. Ed uses his distributor partner for a sounding board as he continues to grow and develop the business.

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