PlanetLaundry and Supplements West Supplement Fall 2015 : Page 1

Supplement to the PlanetLaundry Magazine DISTRIBUTOR SPOTLIGHT STEVEN GOULD Fall 2015 | planetlaundry.com | coinlaundry.org PWS – The Laundry Company Founded more than 45 years ago, PWS – The Laundry Company has grown into one of the nation’s premier distributors, developers and brokers to the commercial laundry industry. “We’re a ‘one-stop shop,’ offering an extensive range of products and services under one roof to meet the needs of our customers,” said PWS Co-President Brad Steinberg. In 1968, three successful coin laundry entrepreneurs established PWS. They were: Morton Pollack, a pioneer in coin laundry resale; John Wickham, the exclusive distributor of Speed Queen commercial laundry equipment in southern California and southern Nevada; and Bernie Steinberg, the originator of Launderland “turnkey” coin laundries. In 1973, PWS acquired the northern California and Nevada Speed Queen distributorship, thus forming the largest distributorship in the United States. Today, PWS is run by second-and continued on page 3 third-generation co-presidents, Brad Pollack and Steinberg. Under their leadership, the company has continued to be a dominant force in the commercial laundry industry, offering a complete set of end-to-end services, including: • Commercial laundry equipment sales, installation, and service • Brokerage sales of existing coin laundries • Development of new laundries • Remodeling, design and build-to-suit services ADVERTISERS Coin Laundry Association | 05 Coin Laundry Insurance | 07 Continental Girbau West | 04 IPSO | Back Cover Laundrylux | 02

DISTRIBUTOR SPOTLIGHT

Steven Gould

PWS – The Laundry Company

Founded more than 45 years ago, PWS – The Laundry Company has grown into one of the nation’s premier distributors, developers and brokers to the commercial laundry industry.

“We’re a ‘one-stop shop,’ offering an extensive range of products and services under one roof to meet the needs of our customers,” said PWS Co-President Brad Steinberg.

In 1968, three successful coin laundry entrepreneurs established PWS. They were: Morton Pollack, a pioneer in coin laundry resale; John Wickham, the exclusive distributor of Speed Queen commercial laundry equipment in southern California and southern Nevada; and Bernie Steinberg, the originator of Launderland “turnkey” coin laundries.

In 1973, PWS acquired the northern California and Nevada Speed Queen distributorship, thus forming the largest distributorship in the United States.

Today, PWS is run by second- and third-generation co-presidents, Brad Pollack and Steinberg. Under their leadership, the company has continued to be a dominant force in the commercial laundry industry, offering a complete set of end-to-end services, including:

• Commercial laundry equipment sales, installation, and service
• Brokerage sales of existing coin laundries
• Development of new laundries
• Remodeling, design and build-to-suit services
• Financing for both laundry and equipment purchases
• Parts sales

In addition, PWS – headquartered in Los Angeles, with satellite offices in northern California and San Diego – has developed a well-established business relationship with Alliance Laundry Systems, which manufactures Speed Queen commercial laundry equipment. After more than 45 years, PWS continues to be one of the leading distributors of Speed Queen commercial equipment in the United States, and the only factory-authorized Speed Queen vended laundry distributor in California and Nevada.

PWS, Inc. is a subsidiary of PWS Investments, Inc. and is incorporated in the state of California. Since the company's incorporation, PWS has consistently acquired existing laundry chains for the purpose of selling each store separately to individual operators. In relatively recent years, the two most notable acquisitions were those of Lucy’s LaundryMart and SpinCycle.

In 2001, PWS acquired Lucy’s LaundryMart, which included the purchase of 28 “mega-laundries” throughout the southern California area. In October 2003, the company became the managing member of Lucky Spin, a company that acquired SpinCycle, a national chain of 172 stores in 15 states and the District of Columbia.

PWS recently launched a campaign called “Customer First.” This program attempts to provide self-service laundry operators with as much helpful information as possible. It entails free quarterly, full-day service schools, giving customers access to nearly 20,000 repair manuals on the PWS website and offering a free technical support line, where company staffers can assist owners in diagnosing their equipment repairs.

“We feel that if operators can improve their bottom lines, everyone wins,” Steinberg explained.

What’s more, the company is just months away from relocating its corporate headquarters in southern California.

“We are moving from the city of Commerce to a building located in the city of South Gate, about six miles south of our current facility,” Steinberg said. “In addition to housing our 40 Los Angeles employees and parts inventory, this building also will be home to a fully functioning 3,400-square-foot laundromat. This laundromat will serve as a self-service laundry, but will also act as a showroom and training facility for store operators and technicians. We couldn’t be more excited to call South Gate our new home in 2016.”

In addition, Steinberg recently took some time to answer a few questions pertaining to the future of the self-service laundry business:

What is the most pronounced trend you’re currently seeing in the industry, especially in your specific region of the country?
We are seeing the proliferation of mega-stores. Previous to about 2008, it was very rare for our customers to build new laundromats larger than 4,000 square feet, with the average new store being in the 2,500-square-foot range. Today, it’s rare to see a new laundromat being built less than 3,500 square feet.

What are you most excited about for the second half of 2015 and beyond?
Already in the pipeline for the remainder of 2015, we have seven existing store operators that are buying their second and third stores through us. Many of these operators got into the business in the last three to four years, and they have done extremely well on their initial investments. They are smart, savvy operators who are looking to grow their operations. It’s a real joy to see their success and their desire to continue to methodically expand.

What are you most concerned about, business-wise?
I’m concerned about those laundromat operators who are not upgrading their stores. Whether it’s equipment upgrades that can assist with reducing utilities or cosmetic upgrades, those laundry operators who are not investing in their stores are going to see diminishing returns. The new stores are being built with all the bells and whistles, and I’m concerned for those operators who have not reinvested in their older stores.

Where do you see the self-service laundry industry headed in your particular market?
As mentioned previously, I see the new, larger stores dominating the market. These stores are normally fully attended, offer the option for credit card usage and are built with high-capacity new equipment.

What’s the biggest reason for laundry owners in the West to be optimistic?
The laundromat business continues to offer sizable returns for many operators. New stores being built today are significantly more energy-efficient than ever before. Even with higher utility prices, operators with new equipment have been able to keep their utilities, as a percentage of gross income, at about 20 percent. Before the installation of these energy-efficient washers and dryers and water heating systems, that number was closer to 30 percent.

What are the keys to successful laundry ownership today?
The fundamentals of successful laundry operations have not changed over the years – keep your store clean and the equipment in working order. Those exceedingly successful operators have just kept adding amenities to those basic principles; they offer large stores, comfortable seating, progressive store designs and credit card payment options.

Read the full article at http://digitaleditions.walsworthprintgroup.com/article/DISTRIBUTOR+SPOTLIGHT/2226447/266869/article.html.

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