By The Laundry Biz

Laundry Design – 7 Tips For Laundromat Success

Good Laundry Design Is Important For Success

A good laundry design and layout is one of the important factors for success. When thinking about laundry equipment, business plans, store names, or launching a new venture, it is easy to overlook however. Here are seven tips for good laundry design:

1) Visibility

When evaluating a location or building a new laundromat, visibility is key to good laundry design. This applies both to the interior as well as exterior of the laundromat:

EXTERIOR – Visibility from nearby roads for both the laundromat and store signage is very important for success. Poor signage or a hard-to-find location can be the difference between failure and success.

It is critical that the store signage is clear and easy to understand. Clever names can be fun, but clarity is more important. This is why many laundromats have the words “Laundry” or “Laundromat” in their name or on their sign. Customers should instantly know what you do.

INTERIOR – Large windows at the front of the store are a must. An all-glass storefront is ideal, and windows on two or threes sides is even better. Customers can easily see into and out of the store. The largest washers should be placed up front to show them off, and the lighting should be good inside and out. This gives security not only to the store owner, but also the customers and is crucial in any good laundry design.

2) Mobility

Nobody likes cramped, crowded spaces… and your goal is to have a busy laundromat! Narrow aisles create frustration for customers, so make them as wide as possible. If this means sacrificing space for another row of washers, consider going with larger, higher-volume machines to compensate.

There should also be extra space between the dryers and the folding tables, typically more than you would have in a washer aisle. Also leave plenty of space between any customer sitting areas and the machines. Make sure that there is plenty of room for laundry carts to pass each other without running over people’s toes.

3) Access

Multiple entry/exit doors are not only recommended, they are sometimes required depending on local fire and access codes. Extra-wide doors that are easy to open will make it easier on your customers. Some of the best modern laundry designs now incorporate automatic double sliding doors for easy access.

Your laundry design will also be dictated by ADA access laws that govern the width of entry doors, aisles, and bathroom layout design. Besides being the law, it is also good practice in making your laundromat as inviting as possible. This will also extend to the exterior of the store to the parking area, wheelchair ramps, etc.

4) Customer Counter

A customer counter is a requirement for any attended laundromat. A well-designed counter is easy to access and highly visible when the customer enters the store. Most laundry designs will have the counter near the entrance if possible. This allows for employees to easily greet customers while watching the store and parking lot.

It also makes it simpler for customers to access who utilize a drop-off laundry service. These customers don’t need to access the entire store, and it helps to control foot traffic. This also makes it easier to advertise any drop-off services since every customer has to pass by the counter. If space allows, it is best to combine the employee folding area and customer counter into one area.

5) Customer Amenities

Sitting areas are a must for good laundry design, and the more space the better. Nobody *really* likes doing laundry, so you want to keep your customers as comfortable as possible while they wait for their washer or dryer. Benches, tables, chairs, and televisions are all pretty standard in many laundromats these days. Tables are nice for customer who may have brought their lunch (you don’t want them eating on the folding tables after all!). It should go without saying that WiFi is a MUST these days!

If you have space, you should also consider a vending area. Not only do customers appreciate the ability to get a quick snack or a drink, but vending is a also a great source of extra cash-flow for a laundromat.

6) Folding Tables

Some owners might lump folding areas with amenities, but they are really a necessity. We have yet to see a laundromat with MORE folding tables than it needed. During peak hours, customers might be waiting for long periods of time to use a folding table after their dryer is done. We have even seen fights over tables!

Do everyone a favor and provide as many folding areas as possible, even if it means losing a couple machines or part of a sitting area. Customers WILL stop going to a laundromat if they never have space to fold their clothes. Very few customers will choose to take their clothes home to fold, so make sure they have the space to do it in your laundromat.

7) Decor

We have seen many a good laundry design that was done-in by overlooking (or overthinking) the decor. Your choice of paint color can affect the mood of your customers as well as the image of your store. Lighter shades can help make a space more comfortable and inviting. They can also evoke a sense of “clean”, which is a great message to convey in a space where people are cleaning things! But don’t be afraid to use color… you’re not painting a drab apartment after all.

Tasteful artwork can add a nice touch, but can be easily overdone. You don’t want to clutter the walls, and will need to leave room for your in-store signage. Spend a little money to get proper, professional signs. Just keep in mind that if you have too many signs, people will be less likely to read them. Stick to the most important ones.

Don’t Skimp On Good Laundry Design

With everything that goes into making sure your laundromat gets the best ROI possible, it is easy to forget about good laundry design. But a well though-out store can lead to happier customers, which can lead to greater success. Maximize your success by spending the time and energy in the best laundry design possible.

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