Ed & Rachael Ellis

1 Clean Laundry
Saint Cloud, Fla.

Before Getting into the Laundry Business…

The Ellises owned a property management company, which specialized in short-term vacation rentals.

Store Opening

The couple’s first laundromat opened in December 2009. They sold it in March 2015 in order to build their current location, which is closer to home. 1 Clean Laundry opened in June 2015.

Business Hours

7:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (last wash) daily

Staff

1 Clean Laundry employs three full-time attendants. There is always a staff member on duty during business hours. 

Total Square Footage

2,400 square feet

Lease or Own?

The Ellises currently have a 10-year lease, with two five-year options.

The Building

The facility was an existing self-service laundry that had gone out of business.

The Construction Process

“From the time we found out about the location until we opened the doors was seven months,” Ed said. “The total cost of the project was $600,000. Everything was brand new – floor to ceiling.”

Turns Per Day

At 21 months, the store was at 3.5 turns per day. Growth was 25 percent over the same month for the prior year, according to the Ellises.

Utility Costs

Utility costs represent 10 percent of the laundry’s gross revenue. 

“Our new equipment is very efficient,” Ed explained. “We have a very good natural gas rate through our CLA affiliate; competing suppliers have not been able to beat the CLA program. In addition, full-cycle drying makes us more efficient by avoiding the heat-up and cool-down cycles of the customers who drop in a couple of quarters at a time. Also, charging for hot and warm water and up-charging for cycle modifiers adds to the bottom line. I don’t feel as though the store should be subsidizing the customer’s laundry by giving away the extra utilities. After all, it costs us more to heat water.
 
“There’s extra time for the medium cycle, and more water is consumed with a prewash on the heavy cycle. This justifies the extra charge. It’s like supersizing your meal at a fast food restaurant. Customers can supersize their wash at 1 Clean Laundry.”

The store’s wash-dry-fold business is not included in its TPD calculation, as the attendants don’t use coins or cards to start the machines; instead they use a PDA, and all of the machines used are tracked separately. And 4,000 pounds of WDF laundry per month, with an average price of $1.25 per pound, adds greatly to the bottom line.

Marketplace Demographics

•    Population: 43,000
•    Median age: 37.5
•    Median income: $51,000
•    Ethnicity: White, 56 percent; Hispanic, 31 percent; African American, 7.3 percent
•    Housing: Owner-occupied, 68 percent; renters, 32 percent

Competition

There are two competing laundries within 1.5 miles of the store. The next-closest laundry business is seven miles away.

Payment Options

1 Clean Laundry is a hybrid store – all of the machines accept quarters, as well as credit/debit cards.

Washers and Dryers

•    12 Speed Queen 20-pound frontloaders, $2.50 to $3.25 – Tuesday special: price starts at $1.75, from 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
•    10 Speed Queen 30-pound frontloaders, $4.00 to $4.75
•    5 Speed Queen 40-pound frontloaders, $5.00 to $6.25
•    4 Speed Queen 60-pound frontloaders, $7.00 to $8.25
•    1 Speed Queen 80-pound frontloader, $9.00 to $10.25
•    9 Speed Queen 30-pound stack dryers, lower pocket is $1.25 for 35 minutes; upper pocket is $1.50 for 35 minutes
•    3 Speed Queen 45-pound stack dryers, $2.75 for 35 minutes
•    3 Speed Queen 75-pound dryers, $3.50 for 35 minutes

Water Heating System

2 Navien tankless water heaters

Card System

ESD CrossLink card system

Bill Changer

1 American Changer AC2225 unit, with bill recycler

Laundry Carts

19 R&B Wire Products double-pole laundry carts

Folding Tables

9 Caco folding tables, featuring an upper shelf

Flooring

Epoxy flooring

Lighting

LED lights throughout the store

Beverage/Snack Vending

1 AMS combination drink and snack vending machine, with prices ranging from 75 cents to $1.50

Detergent/Laundry Vending

1 Vend-Rite Vision Vendor, with prices ranging from $1.00 to $7.50. “We saw a 35 percent increase in soap sales by switching from an eight-column machine to the Vision Vendor,” Ed said.

Televisions

•    2 37-inch LCD televisions, which feature cable TV connections
•    1 37-inch television, which runs the Quantum Wash Alert Program

Additional Amenities

•    Free WiFi
•    Automatic doors
•    Friendly attendants

Wash-Dry-Fold Service

•    Weekdays: $1.25 per pound
•    Weekends: $1.50 per pound
•    12-pound minimum
 
Commercial Accounts

•    Barber shops: $12 flat rate for a bag for wash and dry without folding
•    Catering companies and massage therapists: $1.00 per pound for full-service wash-dry-fold
 
Distributor

Statewide Laundry Equipment, Orlando, Fla., (407) 425-9274

Project Consultant

Rusty Parks

Article Source: http://www.coinlaundry.org/blogs/bob-nieman/2017/05/31/business-bio