Shopping center

Shopping center developer invests in laundromats (Part 1)

GARDEN GROVE, Calif. – Red Mountain Group, which specializes in retail redevelopment, recently developed its first high-speed laundromat – Boulder Express Laundry Services – here in Garden Grove. Rooted in a Walmart store, the 3,800-square-foot laundry room has seen 10% month-over-month growth since its launch, according to the owner.

In May 2020, Red Mountain expanded the Express Laundry brand – and business plan – to Las Vegas. Sales at this 4,600 square foot location grew even faster.

TESTING THE BUSINESS MODEL

Before diving into the laundry business, Red Mountain Group explored the industry thoroughly — conducting competitive analysis, conducting demographic studies and testing business models, according to Tony Mendoza, director of sales and operations at Boulder Express.

In total, Red Mountain has developed and redeveloped approximately 5 billion square feet of commercial and mixed-use real estate since 1991. Its goal? Transform struggling locations into thriving malls positioned to support local neighborhoods.

Because connecting with experts in the laundry industry was essential, Red Mountain partnered with full-service laundry equipment distributor Continental Girbau West, Santa Fe Springs, California. Tod Sorensen, Vice President of Distributor Sales, assisted with all aspects of store development, including design, amenities mix, amenities and start-up.

When the time came, he partnered with Wayne Hoppal of Reliable Commercial Equipment in St. George, Utah to help develop the Las Vegas site.

“They’ve been amazing from day one,” Mendoza says of the distributors. “From construction to installation and setting up and running the laundries, they helped us put all the pieces together.”

THE KEY DIFFERENTIATION FOR SUCCESS

Positioned and equipped to stand out from the competition, both stores are designed to ensure customers finish their laundry quickly, earn loyalty points towards promotions and discounts, and enjoy a sanitized wash.

Garden Grove and Las Vegas laundromats feature a mix of 20, 40, 55 and 70 pound Continental ExpressWash® and G-Flex washers, with complementary ExpressDry® Dryers.

The 20-pound ExpressWash machines feature an easy-to-install freestanding design and generate extraction speeds of up to 400 G-force for maximum moisture removal, according to the manufacturer. The remaining G-Flex pucks are hard-mount machines with mid-speed extract reaching 200 G-force.

Because they remove more moisture during extraction than low-speed machines, they allow customers to wash, dry and fold their laundry in less time. Plus, they help reduce natural gas consumption because dryers run less often, according to Mendoza.

“Our customers love being able to wash and dry laundry in 39 minutes,” he says.

Meanwhile, both locations benefit from fast customer turnover and low utility costs of just 15% of gross revenue.

Additionally, through a Card Concepts Inc. (CCI) payment system, customers benefit from multiple payment options while Mendoza benefits from remote management of machine usage, store revenue, employees, promotions, special rates, etc.

“Customers love our loyalty rewards program of $5 free after 500 points,” says Mendoza.

See you Thursday for the conclusion!