Community Laundries is a successful Electrolux Professional-equipment laundromat owned by a local school teacher in Dallas, Texas. We chatted with Laundrylux Distribution’s Area Sales Manager for Texas, Leppaine Washington, about the process of opening the new laundromat and bringing a Next Level Laundry to Dallas’s Highland Hills neighborhood.
- LOCATION: Dallas, TX
- SIZE: 2,231 sq. feet
- Electrolux Professional 450G EUD Washers
- Electrolux Professional Reversing Dryers
- LAUNDROMAT SERVICES
- Self-Service, Wash-and-Fold, Commercial Laundry
- LAUNDRYLUX SERVICES
- Financing, Marketing, Demographic Research, Laundromat Design
Finding a location
When the Dallas teacher began searching for a laundromat location, Leppaine knew the right spot. With his in-depth knowledge of the North Texas area and long-time relationships with local realtors and brokerage experts, he keeps his finger on the pulse for his customers’ next great laundromat location.
Overlooked by other distributors and investors because of its smaller footprint, the potential site was conveniently located and had most of the necessary plumbing and electrical fittings already in place. Most importantly, Lepaine recognized it as the ideal opportunity for a Next Level Laundry. “The Next Level Laundry concept is perfect for a smaller location because you don’t need as much real estate,” he says. “With Next Level Laundry, you have 450G washers working at a much more efficient throughput than a larger store with 200G equipment. The customer is in and out in less than an hour, so you get the same throughput in a smaller footprint as you would in a bigger store.” The smaller space also enables the store owner to lower the cost of rent or mortgage payments.
In addition to the super-convenient location and ready-to-go hookups, Leppaine tells us, “The demographics were great. There are several apartment communities right next to the store, so the laundromat location is getting a lot of foot traffic. There’s also a local university about two miles up the road. I knew the area well, so I knew it would be a home run hit if the investor decided to go with it.”
Creating the Community Laundries brand
Once the location was chosen, work began on building a business plan and brand identity for the new laundromat. The store owner worked closely with Laundrylux’s in-house marketing team to develop branding that spoke to the community’s values and could easily be scaled up and replicated across multiple stores. In addition to a custom logo, Laundrylux’s skilled designers created an interior design concept, website, in-store signage, and print marketing materials that were true to the brand identity, communicated the look and feel of an established business, and were recognizable to the customer.
Leppaine’s expert team at Laundrylux Distribution quickly obtained all the necessary local permits and licenses to ensure the laundromat was up and running as soon as possible. With help from Laundrylux’s in-house financing department, the store owner had all the necessary funding to turn the project into a Next Level Laundry. From marketing and store design to financing and permits, Laundrylux Distribution joined forces with Laundrylux’s Andy Northup to guide the store owner through every step of opening this new laundromat. “We like to think of ourselves as a full-service provider for commercial laundry equipment from start to finish,” says Leppaine.
Equipment selection & set up
A range of washer capacities was chosen to fulfill the demands of the laundromat and its customers:
- 80 lb. for bulky items like comforters
- 60 lb. for large loads
- 45 lb. for everyday family loads
- 30 lb. and 18lb. for smaller loads
“We felt that with that mix, would meet all the needs of the people in that community based on the demographics,” says Leppaine. “There are a lot of single students at the college and universities, a lot of multi-family housing within the apartment communities, and even some older homes that did not have washer-dryer connections.”
Laundrylux Distribution’s equipment technicians expertly installed all the washers and dryers while Laundrylux’s national training team traveled to Dallas to set up custom programs and multilingual controls. They also provided equipment training to the laundromat team to ensure an exceptional store experience for customers of Community Laundries.
Related articles on Electrolux Professional laundry equipment:
Everything You Need to Know About Electrolux Professional EUD Washers
Everything You Need to Know About Electrolux Professional Dryers
Next Level Laundry: the future-proof business model
Our laundromat investor chose to open a Next Level Laundry in the Highland Hills neighborhood, not only because it would offer the community the best possible laundromat service but also because they knew it was the most profitable, future-proof option. Leppaine explains, “When a customer decides to build a Next Level Laundry, that protects them from future competition coming in and taking part of their market share.”
Next Level Laundry concentrates on four areas: customer experience, profitability, performance, and efficiency. With 450G, high-spin equipment, the maximum amount of water is extracted from the load at the end of the wash, speeding up drying time and delivering an overall throughput of under one hour. As most laundromats in North Texas are equipped with 100G or 200G washers, Community Laundries can guarantee its customers the fastest laundry service in the area and beat the competition every time.
Leppaine explains that this difference in speed really does matter — “One thing we know from being in the business is that time is something you never get back. When customers can get through their laundry in less than an hour, they tend to appreciate it more because they have the rest of the day to do things that really mean a lot to them and their families.”
Community Laundries is such a success that Leppaine often uses it as a showcase store for other investors interested in opening a laundromat.
Taking the customer experience to new heights
Community Laundries’ eye-catching logo, branding, and store design started attracting customers from day one — but it’s the Next Level Laundry equipment and service that keeps them coming back. Each Electrolux Professional washer and dryer in the store is equipped with Compass Pro controls, which enables laundromat owners to create custom programs to meet everyone’s laundry needs and provide a great customer experience.
“I make it a point to visit this laundromat at least once every couple of weeks,” says Leppaine. “I’m in there interacting with customers and answering questions, and every customer seems to love the Compass Pro controls because they say they’re very easy to use.” Community Laundries’ customer base is about 30% Spanish-speaking, so they also benefit from the multi-language display enabling them to select the right programs without assistance or error.
Community Laundries is a fully-attended laundromat with staff on-hand to help offer extra profitable services like wash-and-fold and commercial laundry. “I think having the presence of someone in your laundry just makes it more profitable,” says Leppaine. “Your customers know that there’s always someone they can communicate with if there’s an issue.”
The store’s loyalty card program also enables the laundromat to offer customers free wash and dry cycles and happy hour promotions on their quieter days to increase profitability. As Leppaine puts it, “this laundromat has been able to do a myriad of things to increase their profitability, but also give back to the community.”
Giving back to the community
Owning a profitable laundry business has been a “win-win not only for the business but for the people in the community as well,” says Leppaine. As a teacher, the laundromat investor was already an active community person. Starting a laundromat business has enabled them to expand on this part of their life, offering turkey dinners at Thanksgiving and gifting bicycles to kids at Christmas.
He adds, “This project was near and dear to my heart because I knew a laundromat was really needed in the community. I knew they deserved something really nice and something they could be proud of. So when I go into the Next Level Laundry, and I see the smiling faces of the community, it just makes my heart glad because I know they have a great store that is really serving them well.”
From teacher to successful multi-store owner
The Community Laundries brand has now expanded into multiple laundromat locations, and they are reaping the rewards of the successful laundry business and its reliable investment income.
Their laundromat locations are within a small radius of Dallas, making it easy to manage their business, maintain their commercial laundry equipment, and engage with customers. With the help of local staff, the laundromat delivers a lucrative passive income stream and virtually runs itself. Opening a multi-store enterprise has also allowed the business owners to remain involved in the community for many years to come.
So, what should aspiring laundromat owners do to get started on their journey to success?
- Contact us to be connected with your local laundry expert.
- Find your perfect location with help from our nationwide network of laundromat specialists.
- Connect with our in-house financing team to make your laundromat dreams a reality.
- Choose your Next Level Laundry equipment mix according to your store’s size and the demographic needs of your neighborhood.
- Work with Laundrylux’s in-house marketing team to develop your laundromat branding and attract more customers.