The world's biggest
commercial laundry business - Alliance Laundry Systems - has
reported a 'significant response' from French entrepreneurs
interested in investing in their own self-service laundry business
under the global 'Speed Queen' brand.
Speed Queen built on its presence at the 2014 Franchise Expo
event to promote how far the brand has developed in France in the
last 12 months, with a particular focus on the opening of new
stores across the country. The quality of enquiries was high, with
interest being expressed not just by 'new' entrepreneurs but also
established players looking to diversify their portfolio.
"Visitors were impressed with the number of stores we have
opened in recent months, not just in France but across Europe,"
says Maurizio Tormena, the Speed Queen Store Project Director for
Alliance Laundry Systems. "Being able to show potential investors
real images of what their store could look like, and therefore
making the investment more tangible, was a very successful
Maurizio also says that
investors responded well to Speed Queen's message of 'partnership'
and how its model differs from a 'traditional' franchise approach:
"The fact that we do not have any upfront fees, that we do not ask
for royalties, and that there are no onerous contracts has been
very well received," he continues.
"We offer a turnkey concept and a full range of services from
initial support in finding an appropriate site to the final store
opening and beyond."
Speed Queen has an established reputation for reliability in
thousands of existing self-service laundry businesses around the
world. A network of Speed Queen branded stores have been appearing
across Europe in Spain, Germany, Poland, Portugal, the Czech
Republic, Croatia, Slovenia, Lithuania and Austria. Three new Speed
Queen branded stores have recently opened in France in Paris, Nimes
The ambition is to build a network of more than 1,500 new stores
across Europe, working with investors who want a proven business
model that allows them to become their own boss.
A self-service laundry presents a very different opportunity
from 'traditional' investments that focus on fast food or retail:
it does not involve the management of perishable goods or onerous
stock issues, and because the operation is 'self-service' the
number of staff required is reduced.
This was another strong message that resonated with the investor
audience: "The amount of time an owner needs to spend on the
business is minimal," Maurizio concludes, "neither do they need any
specialist knowledge beyond having the skill to recognise an
investment opportunity that delivers steady and predictable
returns, and that is effectively 'recession proof' since demand is
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