Building a Laundromat Empire: The Partnership that Paved the Way

HM Laundry Blog


Building a Laundromat Empire: The Partnership that Paved the Way


Most business owners dream about expanding and growing their companies. That was true for one of H-M Companies’ customers, a laundromat owner in the northern KY/Cincinnati area that started with just a single location.

However, his background put him at a disadvantage: with experience in the construction industry, rather than the laundry business, he didn’t have the background or expertise to know just how to expand. He needed sound counsel, guidance, expert assistance from someone who’d been there before, along with an established network of area connections to navigate the myriad details involved with growing his enterprise. At the start, this owner had the vision, but didn’t know where to begin.


Among the choice of business enterprises, laundromats often pave a predictable and secure path to success. One major equipment manufacturer issued a report stating that the success rate for laundromat operations is close to 95%. And a laundromat operator can anticipate a 20-35% return on investment (ROI).

But that doesn’t mean it’s without risk, or that the wrong decisions won’t jeopardize that path to success. The wrong location, the wrong equipment, faulty construction or staffing problems can all derail the best of business plans, particularly for someone who’s opening new laundromats for the first time.

After realizing success with a single storefront, the owner decided to expand but recognized he had a wide variety of options – and questions. H-M Company, an established commercial laundry equipment sales and service provider, had serviced the laundromat’s equipment for its previous owner. When it came time to expand, he turned to H-M for some advice.

This owner was seeking guidance such as recommendations for good locations that might best support a successful laundromat, how to gauge the proper utility connections to support the intended layout and of course, the best equipment to install that would fit his budget, how to lay out the available space, and how to account for current consumer preferences.


H-M Company played a crucial role in this expansion by providing the owner with guidance and support at every step, particularly through connectivity and networking to bring buyer and seller together. This included:

  • Guidance on site selection for new locations, helping the owner identify the right areas for growth
  • Assistance with equipment selection and layout, ensuring the optimal mix of washers and dryers to fit the location
  • Oversight of details often overlooked, such as matching up the proper utilities to the upgrades and renovations at a given location
  • Coordination with contractors for renovations and upgrades, ensuring a smooth process for transforming new spaces
  • Negotiation of leases and business acquisitions, leveraging H-M’s industry connections to broker deals
  • Physical installation of equipment into the new locations
  • Ongoing service and maintenance of the equipment, keeping the laundromats running efficiently

The owner now operates four individual laundromats, leaning into H-M’s network of industry connections each time. The size of each location varies, however. As one example, when he bought his third location, he had to renovate half of a building that was operating a tandem tanning salon/laundromat. His intent was to take out the tanning beds and expand the laundromat for the ease and convenience of his customers.

More spacious aisles and folding areas helped ease the location’s congestion, while new equipment helped modernize and expand its capabilities. The owner installed 11 new washers and dryers:

  • Five 40-lb. washers
  • Three 60-lb. washers and
  • Three 80-lb washers with
  • 11 stack 45-lb. dryers.

H-M advised the owner to move from smaller, top-load washers and instead install larger, front-load machines that could handle more capacity per load. This shift toward bigger, more efficient equipment aligns with consumer trends to wash a single, large load instead of spreading out multiple, smaller loads across different machines.

Additionally, H-M Company helped the owner navigate changes in dryer technology, recommending which dryers to keep and which weren’t worth repairing, with an eye toward maximizing the utilization and profitability of the available footprint within the laundromat.

By leveraging H-M’s industry expertise and network, the laundromat owner was able to navigate the challenges of expansion and grow his business successfully. H-M’s proactive approach and willingness to go beyond just equipment sales and service enabled the owner to focus on running his business while H-M handled the logistics of his expansion projects.

At the heart of H-M’s comprehensive support is its firm commitment to equip customers with the industry’s finest commercial laundry machines, selected and sized suitable for the available space. H-M Company features best-in-class equipment brands manufactured domestically in the United States. Key qualities are high-performance, water efficiency and the durability required to withstand the rigors of daily commercial use in order to deliver a lower total cost of ownership compared to alternatives.