Electrolux has once again been ranked Industry Leader Household Durables in the RobecoSAM Sustainability Yearbook, an annual rating of the sustainability performance among more than 2,000 of the world’s largest companies.
It is the fifth consecutive year that RobecoSAM recognizes Electrolux in the yearbook as Industry Leader, a distinction awarded to the top performing company in each of 59 industries. RobecoSAM, which also publishes the globally prestigious Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI), said in the yearbook it had measured companies based on their sustainability performance in three dimensions: economic, environmental and social.
“Sustainability is an integral part of the Electrolux business strategy and through an extensive engagement program over the past year, we have defined clear priorities to ensure we continue to perform well while making a real difference in people’s lives and for our planet,” said Henrik Sundström, Vice President Sustainability at Electrolux. “Our biggest priority is efficiency – continuing to cut down the energy and water our products use, extracting fewer resources, minimizing hazardous substances and shrinking the impact of our operational footprint.”
In addition to being named Industry Leader, Electrolux received the Gold Class award, which goes to the companies with the highest scores in each industry.
Congrats Electrolux! We are proud to be your partner in North America!
In the hospitality business, many owners see only two worlds to spend money: the front of the house – amenities and features that attract and cater to guests; and that other land known as the back of the house. Most owners place these worlds in different galaxies. Raakesh Patel is not like most owners.
His Super 8 Ukiah, California property strikes a true balance between the two worlds. Indeed, Patel sees things differently, and the primary color he is focused on is green. It’s his passion to show others how eco-friendly lodging makes both sense and cents.
“Green is not just a fad or a marketing theme,” Patel said, adding that he wants to make a difference, not just at his property, but in the world. And with today’s severe drought conditions in California and many parts of the world, conserving water and the earth’s precious resources is critical.
Awarded and Honored
There are more than 7,600 properties under the Wyndham Hotels umbrella. In 2012, however, Patel’s Ukiah, Calif. Super 8 location stood out from the group, garnering the prestigious Wyndham Green Award. This award is presented to owners whose properties have made a concerted effort to engage in practices that contribute to the betterment of the planet and offer guests a green environment.
Patel’s 54-room property brings features that truly set it apart, things such as energy efficient lighting, room systems managed by occupancy sensors, and a recycling program that cut his waste bills in half. His was the first Super 8 in the Wyndham group to install charging stations for electric vehicles, a move he said raised a few eyebrows. That is until people started showing up and plugging in… and raving about the hotel online.
The property’s commitment is evident in a variety of other certifications including: California Green Lodging certification; Platinum certification from Green Business Bureau; four-key rating by Green Key Certifications; and certified gold level by TripAdvisors’ Green Leader program. Super 8 also recognized Patel’s effort by presenting him with the Spirit of Super 8 award.
“It’s an amazing feeling… I feel so honored,” Patel said. But those awards weren’t the culmination of his work; they were just the beginning. “Now I need to do something in the laundry,” Patel said of the next stage in his commitment to the environment.
The Laundry gets green
In that land known as the back of the house, the laundry neighborhood ranks as a necessary evil. Hoteliers often see it as a cost center, only drawing attention when equipment breaks down and loads are stalled.
“One of the most major expenses in a hotel is a laundry,” Patel said. So, naturally, where other owners see a drain on resources, Patel saw opportunity and one that he could make a major impact on with a green focus.
“But it has to be done right,” he added of making sure to perform research in advance of rolling new equipment and system in.
At the time, his dated hard-mount laundry equipment was giving him headaches. An expensive bearing replacement and having to re-pour the unit’s concrete pad had him wondering about a better solution. A conversation with his distributor Viking Service about new Electrolux washers and a PLUS system that eliminated large upfront capital expenditures got him thinking.
“I was wondering, how much more can I really save with new equipment,” he said of his original skepticism of bringing in new Electrolux Professional washers, and just how utilizing the PLUS industry-exclusive pay-per-use system would make good fiscal sense.
Then he started running the numbers on his costs for six to seven loads a day (more in the summer) and he was intrigued. With PLUS – Professional Laundry Utility Service – Patel simply uses the equipment as needed and pays only for that usage – no expensive linen rental or laundry contract. PLUS laundering becomes a utility service – just like water, gas, and electricity. Like any utility, you pay for PLUS only when you use it with no long-term obligation. With a lifetime parts and labor warranty, all parts and service included in the program, he was sold. That’s capital that could be better allocated in other areas of the business. In addition, PLUS systems provide Electrolux Professional laundry equipment that is designed for exceptional results, increased productivity, and the lowest water and energy usage.
A deeper shade of green
Many owners might be satisfied with a move to soft-mount washers boasting super high G-force extraction (450 G-force), which reduces energy usage and cuts drying time significantly from high-speed hard-mount washers. Again, Patel is not like most owners.
When he learned of Smart Dosing, an Electrolux Professional innovation that automatically ensures the proper amount of laundry chemicals are added to match the load size, Patel made sure his Ecolab chemicals were being managed by this technology.
Add in Electrolux’s unique Automatic Water Savings (AWS) system, which adds precisely the correct amount of water to the load size, and water consumption can be reduced by up to 50%.
Patel appreciates the fact that his hotel is partnered with a company just as committed to the environment as he is – Electrolux’s sustainability approach is world-renowned. Electrolux has been recognized by CDP as a climate performance leader, was selected for the Global Compact 100, and is a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index which includes the best-in-class environmental performers in the world. Electrolux is constantly working on reducing the environmental impact of products and factories according to the strictest standards.
The results are in
Patel sees the technology he’s employed in his laundry as the perfect recipe to deliver green results and much more.
“I have a system that accurately and efficiently adds up to great savings in dollars and very importantly, for a low impact on the environment,” he said, adding that savings are reflected in lower gas, electric, water, and sewer costs and help reinforce the Energy Star rating for his property.
Patel estimates his laundry savings total 20-25%. But the benefits are reaching much more than his utility bills. Faster cycle times in the laundry have given housekeeping staff additional time to take on other projects in the front of the house – keeping with Patel’s focus on providing the highest quality lodging experience for his guests. Guest surveys show the fruits of his labors, as the property consistently receives high marks and rave reviews online. And the laundry is a key component. Gone are the survey comments from the past mentioning rough towels that felt “like sandpaper.” Now he reads comment after comment about how soft and fresh his linens and towels are, he says.
Involved and spreading the word
Patel isn’t keeping his green initiatives a secret. As a member of the Wyndham Green Advisory Board and Super 8 Franchise Advisory Board, among other lodging associations, he is eager to share all he’s learned. “We have to think and act together,” Patel said. “I want my fellow lodging members to follow my lead; so I spread the word…by going green, save green.” To learn more about PLUS and Electrolux Professional Laundry equipment, please visit: www.laundrylux.com/plus
Reprinted with permission from American Laundry News.
In the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains resides the little French town of Perpignan. As a traveler to this quaint Ville,
founded around the 10th Century, it might surprise you to find, nestled amongst meandering lanes and stately old-world mansions, a store that’s thoroughly modern with a decidedly American twist. It’s a laundromat called Mr. Bubble’s Laverie.
Mr. Bubble’s Laverie is the brainchild of husband and wife team, Kurt and Kiki Drimmel. Kurt, a United States citizen, and Kiki, who originally hails from France, had previously called San Diego, California their home. Yet as they began discussing their semi-retirement options, and how best to enjoy a slower pace of life, Kiki and Kurt kept circling back to the same conclusion – returning to France to open a laundromat that offered American amenities.
“We’ve been returning to France every year, since 2004,” Kurt shared. “It’s hard not to fall in love with the people, food, and the beautiful places this country offers. It was our dream come true to make this move happen as soon as we did. And, we never looked back.”
Newly transplanted yet not new to the laundry business
The couple arrived in Perpignan, located in the South of France, in April 2014, and after five months their search for the ideal laundromat location was underway. While Kurt might have been newly transplanted, he wasn’t new to the laundry business. Back in the States, Kurt worked for one of the premier Electrolux professional brand distributors in Southern California – Mike Hurrell at Golden State Laundry Systems.
“Mike has an obvious passion for the business, said Kurt. “He taught me a lot about the coin laundry and on-premise market, and about the Electrolux brand of professional laundry equipment.”
Kurt spent several years with Mike at Golden State and then went on to work as an independent consultant for his own company, San Diego Coin Laundry & Equipment Sales, under the Golden State Laundry Systems umbrella. “I’ve been in this business for over a decade and must have visited every store in San Diego County many time over,” mused Kurt. “It was the best way to know my local market and learn the intricacies of the industry.”
Putting his extensive knowledge to work for Mr. Bubbles Laverie
Having assisted several of his Californian clients with the process of opening a new store, retooling an existing store, or just purchasing equipment, Kurt was confident he’d be able to secure the right location for his store in his new hometown. With a little help from a great broker, he and Kiki did just that. “The area is called Las Cobas, a neighborhood of Perpignan, and it’s steeped in history and culture,” shared Kurt. “The store is in a small strip center surrounded by apartments as well as small shops and restaurants that offer prime storefronts and steady traffic flow.”
What’s more, the closest laundromat to their location is about two miles away and is in need of a retool and some tender loving care. From day one, the couple knew that this Las Cobas locale had all the makings of a premier laundry spot.
Keeping this in mind, Kurt wanted to act quickly and begin formal lease negotiations, even though he wasn’t fluent in French. “I’m currently in school twice a week to fine tune my language skills,” said Kurt. “I may not be fluent—yet. But I do fairly well.”
However, Kiki is fluent and was very much on board. She was also a fast study, learning all she could about the business from Kurt as well as from her own due diligence. Ready to step in, Kiki lead the negotiation with great success. “She was amazing to watch!” exclaimed Kurt. “So poised, so knowledgeable… I am truly grateful to have Kiki as my business partner.”
Yet in light of their industry acumen, the pair still recognized the importance of having a reputable local distributor by their side. “As a longtime laundry professional, I know what a tremendous job it is to launch a laundromat,” he shared, “so many details to consider, from construction, to purchasing equipment, to creating a marketing plan. I knew we needed guidance; a trusted advisor who lived here and knew the ropes.”
Not knowing exactly who that would be, Kurt called someone a world away – John Sabino, the president of New York-based Laundrylux, the sales and marketing arm for Electrolux Professional Laundry systems in North America.
“I can’t think of anyone more well-informed than John,” stated Kurt. “And we can’t thank him enough for putting us in touch with Isabelle Lefevre, the regional Electrolux representative. We found Isabelle to be knowledgeable and professional. She really listened to what my wife and I wanted to accomplish with our store.”
The obvious equipment choice for Mr. Bubbles – Electrolux
Naturally when it came time to purchase equipment for their Laverie, Kurt and Kiki chose Electrolux. “Having sold Electrolux and competitive products for years, I already knew—from its energy efficiency to its durability, Electrolux was the highest quality equipment out there,” shared Kurt.
Another significant detail about Electrolux equipment is its ability to handle larger-size loads quickly. “The key for us is to cater to the people who wash their bulky bedding and comforters,” assessed Kurt. “Very few people have the capacity in their home units to wash large items, and only 15 to 20 percent actually have dryers in their apartments.”
French consumers are also keenly aware of the Electrolux brand. “When we’ve mentioned in passing that we’re installing Electrolux equipment, the response was overwhelmingly positive,” said Kurt. “People instantly recognize the brand and that it’s synonymous with quality.”
Electrolux is a global leader in developing sustainable “green” commercial laundry equipment. The washers and dryers are designed to increase productivity while lowering water and energy consumption.
For instance, Electrolux washers come standard with features such as Automatic Water Savings, which determines the weight of the load and adds precisely the right amount of water. The results can be seen in lower utility costs and a superior wash experience.
“The washer’s High Spin 450 G-force extraction is another fantastic and unique Electrolux innovation,” said Kurt.
Electrolux washers, as well as its dryers, come with the Compass Pro microprocessor for easy programming and more than 20 languages. Compass Pro also makes the equipment extremely user friendly. “My wife and I are available to help our customers, but the machines are very easy to operate,” said Kurt, “very intuitive.” Custom programs such as “comforters” or “uniforms” can easily be added to meet your customers’ needs – and there’s a real-time clock for promotional and time of day pricing.
Electrolux dryers are also built with time and energy savings in mind. “EcoPower technology automatically lowers the heat when the laundry is dry,” explained Kurt. “I think that’s remarkable. It keeps turning so the laundry does not wrinkle, saves clothing and linens from over-drying, and saves us money on our utility bill.”
“Time does seem to move more slowly in France,” Kurt continued, “however, I know our customers appreciate the faster dry time. And we can’t say enough about the significant cost savings. ”
Small by American standards, yet above average in France
With Mr. Bubble’s equipment choice firmly in place, Kurt and Kiki hired Mr. Bouzakri, an expert in building Electrolux-equipped laundries throughout Europe. “Mr. Bouzakri and his company Blue Concept have been instrumental in optimizing the layout for the store,” shared Kurt. “He and his employees drove an hour and a half each way to build our store. Their attention to detail and dedication to our project has been stellar.”
With the square footage coming in at right around 800, Mr. Bubble’s Laverie is small by American laundromat standards, yet above average in size for France. “The biggest changes we’ve made were removing several walls to give the space an open feel and paying attention to the lighting creating a bright, welcoming environment,” said Kurt.
Mr. Bubble’s now boasts a simple layout that is highly functional – washers in one row, dryers in the back section of the store, and a payment system that’s centrally located. A tidy gathering of table and chairs create a comfortable and inviting space for patrons to relax as they wait for their laundry. Other amenities include soap and candy vending machines, free Wifi, and a full video security system.
Mr. Bubble’s Laverie is attended at all times by either Kurt or Kiki or both. “It’s always nice to see the friendly face of an owner on site,” said Kurt. “We want our customers to feel welcome and offer any suggestions they might have for additional services.”
Not your typical French laundromat
With its larger-sized Electrolux equipment, being fully attended, and offering special services like Fluff & Fold, Mr. Bubble’s is making its mark as “the laundry with the American twist.”
“Our customers are excited by our American wash-dry-fold services,” said Kurt. “It’s a concept they know nothing about here and it’s really taking off.”
As for marketing, in addition to a more traditional advertising campaign such as distributing flyers with a coupon for a free dry and giving away Mr. Bubble’s tee-shirts and pens, Kurt and Kiki is putting some new ideas to work. “We are partnering with the local bakeries to do coupons for a wash and baguette special,” shared Kurt. “Plus a local news station is interested in sharing our unique ‘Americans open a new laundromat in France” story.
Kurt and Kiki’s mission is to be the laundry that other laundromats aspire to be. “Our keys for success are simple,” stated Kurt. “Keep our laundry clean, be open on days that the others are closed, offer innovative services, and provide exceptional customer service.”
Looking forward to the New Year ahead and some words of advice
Kurt and Kiki have accomplished quite a lot in the eight short months they have lived in France. Their best advice to anyone opening a laundromat here or in the United States is: Do your homework about the industry and your location; and while you might get some equipment cheaper up front, don’t discount the fact that you get what you pay for.
“We were presented with several brand choices,” said Kurt. “Yet we knew with the Electrolux products, the equipment would suit our customers’ needs and give us the benefits of long-term utility savings and durability. Plus time is very important to customers and to us. When doing wash-dry-fold with Electrolux machines, we can get the laundry washed AND dried in 45 minutes… ready to serve the next customer!”
The couple is very excited to provide Mr. Bubble’s customers with a much needed state-of-the-art laundromat with many conveniences. “We want our customers to come and enjoy their time at Mr. Bubble’s doing something they really don’t like doing,” said Kurt. “Our store is quite special. It’s unlike anything else in town.”
Kurt and Kiki believe in their store so much that already they are thinking of opening additional Mr. Bubble’s locations. “Our last piece of advice is never be afraid of taking risks,” Kurt summed up. “You just never know what you can accomplish.”
Click here to learn more about Mr. Bubble’s Laverie.
Roots Bistro Gourmand opened in 2012 in a unique 100 year old building that once housed a teahouse with a hidden speakeasy. Located in West Islip on Long Island, Roots Bistro is an upscale casual restaurant serving contemporary French Bistronomic cuisine to local residents as well as New York City’s Hamptons’ set. Roots Bistro pays homage to the simplicity of the modest bistro while infusing gastronomic techniques. The restaurant has 67 seats enabling them to serve between 100 and 140 meals per day.
Executive Chef Philippe Corbet has more than 10 years of culinary experience. Philippe grew up in France in a family of chefs, eventually earning his chef’s degree and graduating first in his class. He went on to work in a number of Michelin-starred restaurants. Joining forces with Corbet, Chef James Orlandi, trained at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York and worked in Michelin-starred Jean George’s restaurant. Orlandi’s passion and desire to challenge the conventional, helped forge a strong partnership between the two chefs.
All ingredients are sourced locally. In fact, the fresh, close to home ingredients drive the menu — so it’s a constant evolution. Everything served from drinks, sauces, infusions, jerky, and even the ketchup, is prepared fresh in house. Roots is committed to sustainability and takes pride in working with local farms, wineries, butchers, and food vendors.
Their vision, “to challenge traditional philosophy with rational arguments of pure creativity,” remains constant. And thanks to Electrolux Professional kitchen solutions, Roots is able to achieve this vision.
“Electrolux makes a chef’s life much easier! I can program the oven to make any recipe I want. Just press the button and it gets cooked the way I want it,” states Executive Chef Philippe Corbet. “Electrolux makes me a better chef. I can actually push myself more.”
So intuitive and simple to use, Electrolux Professional equipment helps chefs further advance their craft and hone their skills.
The Electrolux Professional solutions provided were: 2 air-o-steam Touchline 6 grid ovens; an air-o-chill blast chiller/freezer; a cooking suite (range, grill, griddle and refrigerated drawers), and a warewasher with WashSafe control.
The Residential Center “Al Parco” in Verona, Italy started its activity in 1812 as an answer to the critical need for elderly care in the city. Continuously expanding over the years, it now boasts a total of 9 facilities throughout the area, offering a combined capacity of 700 beds, hospice and other services.
The mission of the Center is to provide the best assistance to the patients, fully respecting their privacy and dignity. The only way to do this efficiently is by placing the person at the center of attention, a commitment that begins first and foremost with the special care given to personal hygiene and to their personal effects.
For this reason, the Center chose the Electrolux Professional barrier laundry solution, in order to obtain full control of the disinfection of the residents’ garments ensuring the best results.
The new laundry offers a joint service for all 9 facilities. It is organized in two completely separate areas, one for loading the dirty laundry and the other for unloading the clean, washed laundry. The two zones are divided by a glass wall for maximum lighting and visibility and separated by a “filter” zone which prevents the risk of bacterial contamination, guaranteeing a total sanitation process. This new layout not only ensures the correct flow of the operations of collecting, washing, drying and ironing but, above all, allows sorting of a huge amount of laundry in a short time.
Turnaround times were halved: washed items are returned to the guests in a shorter time;
The working environment of the operators was significantly improved: air intake/expulsion from the dryers is always external. This, in addition to the customized ventilation system, brought the ambient temperature to about 75°F with the possibility to also adjust the two areas independently;
Infection control and the prevention of cross-contamination. The Centre has full control over its linen hygiene: Not only provides risk management, but peace of mind for the patient and families.
The Residential Center “Al Parco” is an exemplary story of innovation and determination in the pursuit of excellence.
Keith McLoughlin, Electrolux AB President and CEO, will be the keynote speaker for Greater Louisville Inc.’s annual meeting in February. Electrolux announced plans to buy Louisville-based GE Appliances from parent General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) for $3.3 billion last summer.
“Electrolux is an iconic brand that extends far beyond their familiar small appliances. We look forward to hearing from Keith on how they have achieved global success in a very complex and competitive environment,” Kent Oyler, president and CEO of the Louisville metro chamber of commerce, said in a news release. “Our members will appreciate hearing his perspectives on promoting sustainability and corporate citizenship inside one of the world’s greatest companies.”
To read the full article, click here.
Electrolux has for the second year running been included as a constituent in the Global Compact 100, a stock index composed of companies which have signed the United Nations Global Compact.
UN Global Compact said the GC 100 is composed of a representative group of companies with “strong practices and performance in adhering to the principles of the UN Global Compact around management of human rights, labor rights, the environment and anti-corruption.” Selected companies also show “evidence of executive leadership commitment and consistent base-line profitability.”
The index, which was launched in 2013 in partnership with research firm Sustainalytics, is now a real-time, quoted index appearing alongside other global financial data on Bloomberg investor terminals. It has shown a 21.8% return in the 12 months since it was created, the UN Global Compact said.
The Electrolux Group sells more than 50 million products to customers in more than 150 markets every year. In 2013 Electrolux had sales of SEK 109 billion and 61,000 employees. For more information go to http://group.electrolux.com.
Electrolux Professional – the right partner for the five-star hotel and deluxe resort, The Chedi
“The choice to have Electrolux Professional on board as a partner proved to be a great success,” shares the Gastronomy Project Leader of Adermatt Swiss Alps AG. The company was impressed with Electrolux Professional’s planning department and vast experience.
The open kitchens in The Chedi Andermatt are capitalized as upscale gastronomy: all hotels have four open demo kitchens as well as studio kitchens, where guests can see behind the curtains of the culinary happenings.
Western Cuisine / Asian Cuisine / Breakfast and Cold Dishes / Dessert Workshop
Complete kitchens, including backup and production kitchens in the basement, were equipped with modern and efficient kitchen appliances from Electrolux Professional: customized induction stove, combination steam oven, pressure steamer, freezer and much more.
“I appreciate the user-friendliness of Electrolux very much,” says Mansour Memarian, Executive Chef of the newly opened restaurant in The Chedi Andermatt.
Electrolux Professional designed, delivered and implemented complete dishwashing facilities in the hotel as well: from the rinsing machines to the glass and basket washers up to the pan washers.
Electrolux Professional Laundry Equipment – complete solutions from a single source
Even more important – Electrolux is unique in its ability to provide sustainable professional laundry and kitchen equipment; the complete solution from one source. The laundry facility is equipped with Electrolux washers and dryers, wringers and finishing machines.
With five competing laundries in the Tacoma, Washington area, Susie Boyd knew exactly how she was going to make her laundromat, Mr. Bubbles, stand apart from her competitors and win over clientele – by creating a sparkling clean laundry environment.
Susie’s ideal laundromat vision came to her quite effortlessly; she just kept on thinking – what kind of place would I want to would to do my laundry in?
“That was the easy part,” shared Susie, “I would want a good location with ample parking and the best equipment, of course. I also would want a laundromat to have a comfortable atmosphere, friendly customer service, and to be clean.”
Retooling instead of building from scratch
After looking at more than 20 stores, Susie chose the perfect one that held true to her vision of the right location with lots of parking. It also came at the right price. “I liked the idea of retooling an existing store since it would be less expensive than building something new,” explained Susie. “Most of the utility work was already in place, plus, it had a small but solid customer base so the ramp-up time would be shortened as well.”
Susie gave the store a complete overhaul – from replacing all the outdated equipment, to installing energy efficient lighting, to altering the layout of the 2,000-square-foot space to maximize every inch. “We needed to accommodate the larger Electrolux Professional laundry equipment and make better use of the space,” said Susie.
In addition to the super-fast and superior cleaning and drying power of Electrolux equipment, aisles were opened up, and a roomy folding area was created. The picnic-bench seating lends just the right touch, creating an appealing ambiance while giving customers plenty of room to sit and read, or take advantage of the free Wi-fi.
Now, just how clean is clean for this former owner of a commercial janitorial company and self-proclaimed “clean freak?”
“Well, I’ve installed hand sanitizers throughout the store,” chuckled Susie. “And I guess you could say our motto is ‘Always Be Cleaning’. I’ve personally trained our attendants to keep the entire store spotless at all times, ensuring a fresh, clean space for our customers.”
The perfect marriage – a mix of industry expertise and, well, marriage
As a first-time store owner, Susie knew she needed a laundry expert to help her re-tool and re-launch her store. She also knew exactly who to turn to – the 22-year veteran in the self-service laundry business who just happens to be her husband – Rich Boyd.
“Rich has designed, installed and sold some of the finest large coin laundries in Southern California and Arizona,” said Susie. “He also ran an office in Albuquerque primarily selling OPL washers and dryers to the hospitality industry, so even if Rich wasn’t my husband, I’d be breaking down doors to work with him. His working knowledge about choosing the right equipment mix alone is proving invaluable to the success of Mr. Bubbles.”
And how was it for Rich working with his wife on the creation of Mr. Bubbles?
“We make a great team,” said Rich. “Susie’s heard me talk endlessly about the laundry business for years and has seen many of the new stores that I had a hand in building. Actually, her commercial janitorial company was responsible for many of the new-store clean-ups. Susie has an excellent understanding of this business and was clear about what she wanted in her laundromat.”
It comes as no surprise that the only laundry equipment choice for Susie and Rich was the Electrolux professional brand. “I could not be an Electrolux and Wascomat distributor, much less recommend these products to my wife of all people, if I didn’t believe they were absolutely the best washers and dryers in the business,” said Rich matter-of-factly.
Susie couldn’t agree more. “We didn’t even discuss it, we didn’t have to,” added Susie. “Electrolux Professional laundry equipment has a proven record in durability and offers the largest energy savings. Choosing Electrolux equipment was by far the easiest decision we had to make.” Electrolux washers are the most innovative on the market with Automatic Water Savings (AWS) for lowest water consumption and Compass control for easy programming.
For dryer selection, the couple went with high-performance Electrolux Stack Dryers. “The Electrolux dryers have a larger capacity than competitive models,” shared Susie. “They use less energy and dry faster. The reversing cylinders also reduce energy consumption, and protect against wrinkling and tangling.”
The Electrolux dryers also come with a unique innovation called EcoPower, which can save you up to 15% on gas. This unique technology determines when garments are dry and then automatically lowers the dryer temperature. With EcoPower, there’s less wear-and-tear on garments and no over-drying. Electrolux Professional stack dryers also have the best lint filter in the industry. “Our attendant pulls the filter forward and gently swipes his or her fingers across the lint filter,” said Rich. “That’s it. It’s amazing that something so small can be such a huge time saver.”
Another easy equipment decision for Susie was installing a card system that works with all payment types. “Some of our competitors have card-only equipment, which isn’t a convenient option for every customer,” said Susie. “Mr. Bubbles has a loyalty card just like the competition, but we also accept credit and debit cards, and, of course, coins.”
Susie knew her husband wasn’t the only family member she could depend on to make Mr. Bubbles a success – she knew she could count on her son, Wesley, as well.
“Actually, he was the main reason I wanted to get into the laundry business in the first place,” shared Susie. “Wesley is 17 and has a brain disorder. As a parent of a special needs child, I regularly found myself thinking about his future.”
Susie wanted Wesley to be financially secure, but more than that she wanted him to enjoy his work. “Don’t we all want that?” posed Susie. “Wesley has a loving spirit and an outgoing personality. I felt that this business would be a wonderful fit for him.”
Wesley helps Susie empty lint filters, refill the snack-vending machines and, his all-time favorite task – sort out the bills from the change machine. He also takes great pleasure in talking to his customers. “I’m so happy he’s learning so much and having a good time doing it,” said Susie, smiling. “We go to the store every Sunday. It’s become our family tradition.”
After Wesley completes his schooling in the next few years, he’ll begin working full-time at Mr. Bubbles. One day, he will be its owner.
“I feel so blessed to be his mom,” shared Susie. “I learn from him every day. Wesley keeps me grounded and focused and has given me courage to take on any challenge, like opening a laundry.”
Leaving her competitors in the dust
Since renovating and reopening its doors in February 2013, Mr. Bubbles has experienced astonishing growth. “We just past 500% of what it was doing before we took it over!” exclaimed Susie. “And I can still recall the excitement of Grand Opening day.”
“We ran a month-long special discount on our washers, which proved to be a big hit,” said Susie. “The store was bustling thanks to Google Ads, a social-media push, and good old fashioned word-of-mouth. We also mailed out 2,000 preloaded loyalty cards to people who lived in neighboring apartment buildings.”
However, the most gratifying experience for Susie was donating preloaded loyalty cards to a local church to distribute to those in need. “The biggest benefit in giving back is that is makes my heart feel good,” shared Susie.
Today, the response from the community continues to be overwhelmingly positive. So much so that Mr. Bubbles recently received the 2014 Best of Tacoma Award in the Laundromat category.
Each year, the Tacoma Award Program identifies local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community. These exceptional companies help make the Tacoma area a great place to live, work, and play.
“With five laundries within a mile of each other, being selected for this award was an incredible honor for us,” shared Susie.
Susie is beyond pleased that her cleaning obsession, as well as the superior Electrolux Professional laundry equipment and friendly service, are being so well received. “I think we’re on to something here, she shared. “ I am so looking forward to what comes next.”
Electrolux AEG unit’s new film focuses on the clothes that people put into their machines rather than the machines themselves… take a peek at this 40 min documentary on the impact of technology on the fashion world.
Melissa Rudy, Adweek, writes: “The documentary explores how popular clothing companies — Adidas, Patagonia and Studio XO, to name a few—are utilizing cutting-edge technologies to create a new generation of apparel. Among the innovations are clothing made from eco-friendly materials and the growing trend of wearable technology. More futuristic possibilities are also explored, including Biocouture, a research company that is exploring the potential for growing clothing from living organisms.” To read her full article, visit http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/new-electrolux-film-looks-impact-technology-fashion-160644