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Large-Capacity Washers — Choosing the Right One for Your Laundry

As a vended laundry owner, it’s important to have more than just one large washer-extractor with 80- to 130-pound capacity on your business floor. You need have an offering beyond what the typical home or apartment washer can provide. Large-capacity washers help you to 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. Carefully selected, large-capacity washers can positively impact your business for years to come.

Stand Apart

Offer what your competitors don’t. Most vended laundries lack large-capacity washers. Instead, they have small machines on the floor, like those found in apartment complexes and dormitories. Give customers a reason to want to do laundry at your store, rather than at their apartment complex laundry or home. A big washer will bring them in the door. 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

I urge customers to install large-capacity washers because they prove, over and over, to be the most popular washers on the floor. As washer capacity gets 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.

Choose Softmount

Choose large-capacity commercially designed washers with soft-mount technology and high G-force extract speeds. Hard-mount washers of this size category require 12-18 inches of concrete and need two feet of access space behind them. A softmount has less negative impact on the store (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 consumption.

Using a commercial-grade soft-mount, customers can be in and out of the store in less than an hour. Commercial soft-mount washer technology began in the 1960’s and has proven itself time and time again to outperform traditional hard-mount washers in every laundry sector. Additionally, larger capacity, soft-mount washers are available for residential purchase are now making substantial impacts in the residential markets.

Choose Auto Injection

Make sure the washer you choose has an automatic chemical injection feature. Customers should not have to load their own soap products on these big washers. With automatic injection, they simply load, pay and everything else is automatic. There are systems on the market that automatically disperse soaps and softeners and work seamlessly with these washers. This feature will boost customer turnover and provide superior results while increasing bottom-line profits. Moreover, cleaning products have low overhead costs and more profitability. Put this to work for you.

Choose Adaptability

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. Making investments in large-capacity washers is a significant investment so choose models that offer you the most flexibility, rather than pouring money into your foundation.

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.

 

Tod Sorensen is a regional business manager at Girbau North America and vice president of Continental Girbau West, a full-service distributorship serving the Southern California, Arizona and New Mexico vended, on-premise and industrial laundry markets. He holds more than 20 years of experience in vended laundry development and market analysis. Please contact him with any questions at tsorensen@gnalaundry.com or call 866-950-2449.

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