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Vended Laundry Ownership Equals Enhanced Quality of Life for National Laundry and Dry Cleaning

April 2017 | Download PDF

Phong Duong

Intrigued by vended laundries for their management flexibility, Phong Duong recently purchased National Laundry and Dry Cleaning, a two-year-old vended laundry in San Diego. “I owned a nail salon with my wife and worked as a corporate employee for many years,” he said. “I have two young boys and was working seven days a week, 12 hours a day. I quit my corporate job to focus on the nail salon. I still worked just as hard. It got old. That’s when I decided to look at different businesses.”

Investigating Vended Laundry Ownership & Equipment

Hoping to learn more about the vended laundry industry, Duong attended a vended laundry symposium hosted by Elite Business Investments (Elite) and Continental Girbau West (CG West). He took in presentations on vended laundry development, ownership and equipment and came away favoring Continental ExpressWash® Washers over other brands. ExpressWash, according to CG West Vice President Tod Sorensen, deliver a simple-to-install freestanding design, a highly programmable ProfitPlus® Control and extract speeds up to 400 G-force. “I liked the idea of owning a high-speed store where customers could wash, dry and fold laundry in less than an hour,” said Duong. “I did Continental’s ExpressWash comparison online and decided I liked the freestanding ExpressWash Washers more than competitive brand machines.”

National Laundry

By generating higher extract speeds than most hard-mount washers, which typically max out at 200 G-force, ExpressWash remove more moisture from every load. This cuts dry time, reduces utility costs and improves customer turnover, according to Sorensen. “Dryers operate less often, consuming less natural gas, and customers complete their laundry sooner,” he said.

Partnering with Elite Business Investments

After researching the industry and related equipment, Duong called Carol Dang, of Elite. She works closely with vended laundry investors and owners to sell and purchase existing laundries, as well as renovate them. Dang’s team at Elite also specializes in new vended laundry development.

On behalf of Duong, she searched for potential laundry locations for new store development, as well as existing laundries for sale. She contacted multi-laundry owner Brian Voytovich to investigate a laundry of his that was for sale. “Brian gave me a brief rundown of the location, income and expenses and I called Phong,” said Dang.

Duong responded by purchasing the store. “I couldn’t ask for more,” he said of his new laundry. Carol has done an excellent job helping me and I’ve learned a lot from her along the way.”

ExpressWash Washers

Continental Washers

Amenities & Service Abound

“The 4,300-square-foot National Laundry and Dry Cleaning is equipped with a mix of card-operated ExpressWash Washers and complementing ExpressDry Dryers; offers residential and commercial wash/dry/fold service, including pickup and delivery; provides drop-off dry cleaning; is fully attended; and features a children’s play area, video games, free WIFI, vending machines and big-screen TVs. Six hard-mount 75-pound capacity Continental PowerLoad Washers are the store’s most popular machines. “Customers line up to use them,” said Duong.

Adding 90s with Auto Injection

Just four months into ownership, Duong called on Dang again for assistance. “He said he needed some larger machines,” she said. “I sold him two 90-pound capacity ExpressWash Washers with automatic chemical injection.” Duong alleviated the backup at the 75s by replacing four of his 20s with the two 90s. “Customers are loving them,” he said. “The 90s automatically inject industrial detergents, bleach and softeners at precisely the right time during the wash process. Customers just load, select a cycle from the ProfitPlus Control, and press start.”

The new ExpressWash 90s bring customers a high-quality wash in 32 to 40 minutes; make National Laundry and Dry Cleaning unique; and boost revenue in the process, according to Duong. He showcases the injection system and detergents in a clear Plexiglass cabinet underneath a folding table. “That way customers can see how it works,” he said. “The machines are big and the detergent injection is really convenient. Most other stores don’t have that.”

Wash/Dry/Fold

The large 90s also help with processing commercial and residential wash/dry/fold, according to Duong. Looking to grow this segment of his business, National Laundry and Dry Cleaning provides pickup and delivery, along with a turnaround time of 24 hours for commercial laundry orders. “We are located really close to a Naval base and the sailors bring me a lot of blankets, jackets and bed sheets,” he said. Attendants carefully sort, wash and package laundry according to customer specifications.

Remote CCI Card System Management

National Laundry card system

A Card Concepts Inc. (CCI) electronic card payment system simplifies laundry management. It allows Duong to remotely issue cards and refunds, launch in-store promotions, monitor machines and check revenue, among many other capabilities. Offering a free daily dry for every wash swipe and Wednesday deals on the 20-pound washers, Duong builds customer loyalty and revenue.

“I love being a vended laundry owner,” said Duong. “I don’t have to work seven days a week anymore because I can manage the laundry remotely using the card system. I can even process refunds when I’m not at the shop.”