Choosing the right service for your forecourt can increase footfall, encourage customer loyalty and also generate extra income. Find out how a laundromat service could boost your business.
Services are undoubtedly key to the success of a forecourt operation. After all, the clue is in the name – with many forecourts called service stations. And they have stood the test of time thanks to their evolution, from just a few pumps and a small kiosk selling cigarettes and chocolate bars to a slick operation with convenience stores that are often best-in-class.
However, even a strong fuel brand, comprehensive chilled range and excellent food-to-go offer are no longer enough for today’s demanding consumers. They demand services too – from the National Lottery to parcel pick-ups and drop offs and everything in between. Being able to fill up your car, buy something for your lunch or dinner and drop off a parcel all in the same place is very appealing for today’s busy consumers.
Choosing the right service for your forecourt can increase footfall, encourage customer loyalty and also generate extra income. But one problem with services is how much space they take up in a store where every item really must earn its shelf space. However, there are services which take up no room at all in-store and instead sit outside often occupying what could be dead space.
One such service is the Revolution Laundromat, a self-contained module that comprises high-capacity professional washing machines and dryers, complete with eco-friendly detergent and fabric softener metering system, together with options for pre-wash or added disinfectant, a pay station and customer shelter.
Offering a turnkey service
Revolution offers a complete turnkey service, from site survey to installation. No planning permission is required – just 4.7m2 of space and access to three-phase power and a foul drain. As well as space for the laundromat, you’ll need space for customers to park. And there is no investment required, as Revolution Laundry pays for the machine and the installation.
Revolution Laundry describes use of its machines at ‘appointment washing’ because you can typically fit three ordinary wash loads into one wash. This means people typically use them to wash bulky items such as duvets, pillows, cushions, dog beds or skiwear – the type of things that won’t fit into a domestic washing machine.
Payments are contactless and customers have access to a service helpline as well as a text service so they can be texted when their washing is ready.
Robert Mortimer, head of Revolution Laundry at ME Group, says: “Our outdoor laundromats have been around in the UK for six years and perform really well. Our best-performing machines take around £60,000 a year while others typically take between £12,000 and £20,000. Our current customers include Morrisons and Texaco.
“We have around 640 machines in place at the moment in the UK and want to double that number within two years. We consider forecourts to be an ideal location for our machines, however, our customers can be sure that we won’t saturate the market. We carefully consider where each machine is sited and ensure there is no other machine within a two-to-three mile radius.”
Accessing promotional support
New machines are promoted through the use of pos material such as flags, banners and wind signs. Digital advertising is also used with targeted Google and Facebook ads. There is also a site finder so customers can find their nearest or most convenient place to do their laundry.
Revolution Laundry sets the prices and retailers receive profit share. The company says its machines are energy efficient but it can offer solar panels on top of the machines to add to their green credentials.
Service is included in the contract with Revolution’s team of engineers available should forecourt operators experience any problems.
Now is the perfect time to consider Revolution especially given the increase in dwell time the advent of electric vehicle charging has brought to some forecourts. Drivers typically use their dwell time to grab a coffee and a snack but they could just as easily do some washing too. Generally washing cycles are between 30 to 50 minutes which is plenty of time to charge an electric car. But even if you don’t have EV charging, a Revolution Laundromat could add value to your offer and turn dead space into profit.
Identifying the laundromat service for your forecourt
There are three Revolution machines to choose from:
• The Revolution Compact V2 is the most popular of the company’s machines. It features an 8kg washing machine, 18kg washing machine and 18 kg dryer.
• The Revolution Compact V3 has a 20kg washing machine, a 9kg washing machine and a 20kg dryer. This machine comes with solar panels as standard for reduced environmental impact.
• The Flex is the company’s complete plug and play option, all you need is an electrical connection and a water drain. It has a 12kg washer and 12kg dryer.
All kiosks are accessible 24/7 and are accessible for people with reduced mobility.