Open Forum

Nearest competitor shut down

  • 1.  Nearest competitor shut down

    Posted 02-10-2019 10:38
    As the title says my nearest competitor shut down.
    Not surprised as it has been through 3 owners and half the equipment was OOO
    Already have noticed a uptick in volume.

    Is there anything I should be doing to capitalize on the situation?

    K J
    K J Person
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  • 2.  RE: Nearest competitor shut down

    Posted 02-10-2019 12:51
    Edited by Larry Larsen 02-16-2019 12:01
    Contact the closed store's Landlord and buy out all the fixtures.  Return it to a vanilla shell. Three people have been foolish enough to believe they could run it as a successful business. Number four might be right around the corner and he/she Could do a complete remodel.  You don't want someone to remodel, buy new equipment and operate it better than the last three owners. If this happens, you might see your income slide in the wrong direction.

    Replace any old equipment in your store, spruce up your store and advertise. You want to ensure that new customer will have a pleasant experience AND discourage any potential competitor from leasing the closed store.

    Larry Larsen
    Anaheim, CA
    Distributor - Insurance - Consulting
    Cell: (714) 390-9969

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  • 3.  RE: Nearest competitor shut down

    Posted 02-10-2019 13:12
    Edited by Paulie B 02-10-2019 13:14
    Great advice from Larry L as usual!

    Yes, approach the LL to see if you can pay to remove all equipment and make that spot a vanilla box. Most LL's would go along with such a sweet deal, especially after 3 previous mat owners have burned him at that spot. He just may be DONE with renting to laundromats!

    However, this does not mean you still can't get another competitor at a nearby spot. Closed down mats have a tendency to spring up again.

    If you do close up this mat for good, you will still run the risk of a brand new mat opening up somewhere near that spot. There may already be local distributors/brokers aware of that mat who may direct a newbie to open a new one by saying....."Well I do have a location for you. It's right near an old run down mat that recently closed down due to owner neglect. The absence of that old mat is leaving a gap for you in that neighborhood, thereby lowering your risk".

    Competition is a normal part of the business. Sooner or later we all get at least one.

    I also agree with Larry that you must make YOUR mat as attractive as possible, not only to reel in the customers from that old mat, but to help fend off a new mat being built.
    If you were to put in new equipment and make your mat gorgeous, you'll be in a much better position to scare off new mats.

    Paulie B
    Multiple Mat Owner since 1976
    New York City, NY

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  • 4.  RE: Nearest competitor shut down

    Posted 02-11-2019 14:16
    I would agree with both Paulie and Larry. See if you can return the building to a plain vanilla box. It might discourage somebody else from trying it. I wish I would have done that. Now I have a new competitor who opened up last October in a formerly closed laundrymat.

    Jared Friesen
    Wash & Dry
    American Fls ID

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  • 5.  RE: Nearest competitor shut down

    Posted 02-12-2019 11:12
    I am not anti healthy competition ... but something to consider sometimes is a laundromat owner who also owns adjacent property who might keep their existing area going while they double their size ... dwarfing yours to some extent.  It does not mean you have to panic or roll over dead or make the mistake of putting in "less than ideal brand new" but it does mean you have gather your wits & improve yours to make yours the "Go To" place for a large enough percentage of people to keep your place viable.

    Price compete ... alone ... no.  It has to be a multifaceted "true value oriented" approach.  It could prove to be difficult because of a possible "snob appeal" for the more capacity "doll house" laundromat.  How to get people to understand that your laundromat has better overall value can be a real challenge IMHO!  There is cost involved in getting the message out ... in case "word of mouth" does not quite get you to the turns per day needed to take care of expenses .... man & woman power better level of attendance etc.

    Michael Walsh
    King Koin Laundry, Car n Dog Wash
    Bismarck ND

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  • 6.  RE: Nearest competitor shut down

    Posted 02-12-2019 13:15

    There's nothing wrong with a little competition but when someone builds a new laundromat in an already well-served market; it's time to break out the nuclear weapon.

    A new, large laundromat can be very vulnerable because it is likely very inefficient.   Oh sure, the owner may brag about how efficient his new equipment is but that counts for little in the giant scheme of things.   He's  probably got huge start-up costs, huge equipment payments and huge rent costs with that new lease.  He also has to learn the business and is likely to make mistakes thus adding unnecessary costs.  For example,  he may fail to recognize employee fraud in a timely manner.

    So a newbie owner is vulnerable to attack unless someone with experience is guiding him AND he accepts such guidance.

    Larry Adamski
    Muskegon Laundromat
    Spring Lake MI
    (616) 566-1987

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  • 7.  RE: Nearest competitor shut down

    Posted 02-12-2019 14:46
    I was very fortunate. When my biggest competitor closed, the property was sold and the building torn down. A new car wash was built on the site.

    Y Winston
    Chesapeake VA

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  • 8.  RE: Nearest competitor shut down

    Posted 02-15-2019 13:22
    Three of my competitors went out of business about 7 months ago.  All the machines are still there.  No activity recently.

    As much as I'd love for these 3 laundromats to disappear, they probably won't.  In time, someone will get a good deal from the landlord, lease the space as-is, and will try to make a success out of the existing old equipment.

    Between high utility costs and high rents in my area, unless they new owners have expertise in the business, they will most likely fail.

    I'm not worried about the competition.  I see the new owners resorting to competing on price to attract customers.  That's a plan for failure in my opinion.

    Joe C.
    Store Owner
    Happy Bubbles Laundromat
    North Hollywood, CA

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  • 9.  RE: Nearest competitor shut down

    Posted 02-15-2019 18:40
    I hear what you are saying about those mats possibly re-opening and charging less, but what if a newbie comes along and decides to put brand new equipment into one of more of your mats? That can, and does happen quite often.....They get the store for a song with all it's valuable infrastructure, saving them big bucks that they can devote to major improvements in the look & attractiveness of the stores.

    If you can afford it, go to your closest competitor and offer the LL that you will pay to have the infrastructure removed and that you'll make him a vanilla box.

    Paulie B
    Multiple Mat Owner since 1976
    New York City, NY

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  • 10.  RE: Nearest competitor shut down

    Posted 02-15-2019 20:52
    Listen to the GODFATHER and listen well.

    YOU DO NOTHING !!!!!

    What godfather...what you saying...have you stopped taking your medications !!!


    Some fool is going to come again and try to make it work. Only time you worry or concerned is if a person like the GF comes in and redoes the whole mat BUT if the biz is there n excellent location. If NOT you just sit n do nothing. Let the newbies figure it out.

    On the other hand...the bigguy said update store etc.

    WHATS A UPDATE...??? In the mat Biz or in any Biz in have to be on top of your game and fight for every customer n dollar.

    So like I say do nothing.... time for my medications.

    Your only Godfather !!!


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