The Secret to Success in the Coin-Op Laundry Business: Veteran Industry Professional Javier Hernandez Explains it to Scott Harrington of Western State Design

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Javier Hernandez, owner of multiple coin-op laundries in Phoenix and Las Vegas, and his business advisor of 31 years, Michael Cutter, sat down to an interview with Scott Harrington of Western State Design to discuss their longtime success in the industry.

This is our passion. This is all we do and we are good at it. It is not a glamorous business, but to us, the glamor has always been the bottom line.

Starting in 1989, Javier Hernandez, with the help of his long-time collaborator, Michael Cutter, has purchased and owned more than 40 coin operated laundries. He initially started developing these coin laundries in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and quickly branched out to Phoenix, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, and Tucson. Today, through his parent company, Regal Laundries and Management, he owns and operates several coin-op laundries in Phoenix and Las Vegas under the names Valu Wash Laundromats and Regal Laundries.

Although Cutter has been retired for several years and divides his time between Phoenix, Australia, and Thailand, he still assists Hernandez with acquisitions, lease negotiations, and consulting.

“With the Internet and services such as Skype you can do business from anywhere in the world,” says Cutter.

With one exception, Hernandez has not built new turnkey coin-op laundries from scratch; he has acquired and renovated existing stores. This means he has not had to deal with local municipal zoning and regulations and has evidence that the stores are in a well-trafficked location.

“The key to success is keeping your machines running, keeping your stores clean and well-lit and having the proper mix of equipment and not being on cards,” says Hernandez. To this end, for the past three years, Hernandez has developed his coin-op laundries working with Scott Harrington, Area Sales Manager, at top laundry equipment distributor, Western State Design. Hernandez turned to Western State Design when he became interested in USA-made Dexter Laundry machines.

As a self-taught, hands-on operator and Regional Manager, Hernandez does all the installation and maintenance of his laundry equipment himself, so reliability and ease of maintenance is paramount. He says he particularly likes the simplicity of Dexter’s components’ design.

“Everything is modular and can be maintained relatively easily,” he says. “Plus, the Dexter machines are really attractive and have a number of user-friendly features such as a STOP button and fully-opening doors on the C-series,” he adds.

In the very competitive coin-op laundry business, Dexter washers offer another tactical advantage: the Dexter Live app that allows customized pricing and promotion. This app allows Hernandez to change the wash price depending on the time of day or the day of week, thus enabling him to spread out his customer traffic flow throughout the day and night. In fact, in a few of his stores, he offers a “Midnight Special” which is popular among customers on a tight budget.

Previously, before the introduction of Dexter programmable customized pricing, laundry operators were only able to offer special pricing through the use of debit card systems. Hernandez, however, has long since reverted to coin systems in his laundries, in order to minimize labor costs and accede to his customers’ preferences, so he’s pleased that Dexter came up with this important new feature.

In addition to keeping costs down and offering state-of-the-art laundry equipment and amenities to meet customers’ needs, Hernandez attributes his success and longevity in the industry to focus and attention to detail. One important detail, for example, is obtaining favorable financing and maintaining accurate and up-to-date financial records. Hernandez says Dexter’s Financial Services subsidiary has been instrumental to his success.

“They are very responsive and very efficient,” he says.

“WSD is also very responsive,” according to Hernandez. “Our salesperson has been the best to deal with in terms of obtaining quotes, getting orders in and relaying shipping dates. Typically, we have had to chase other Distributors for this stuff,” he adds.

“It is nice to deal with professionals,” says his advisor, Cutter.

In explaining his overall philosophy regarding the coin-op industry, Hernandez explains, “This is our passion. This is all we do and we are good at it. It is not a glamorous business, but to us, the glamor has always been the bottom line.”

About Regal Laundries & Management
Regal Laundries is the Phoenix-based parent company that owns several full service coin-op laundries in Phoenix and Las Vegas called Valu Wash Laundromats and Regal Laundries. These stores are newly-renovated and feature state-of-the-art laundry machines, including Dexter high capacity front loading washers and dryers.

About Western State Design
With over 40 years’ experience as a premier, full-service distributor to the coin-op laundry industry, Western State Design has grown to become one of the largest coin laundry equipment distributors in the world. Western State Design is proud to be a Dexter Authorized Distributor, and has been recognized as the No. 1 Dexter Distributor Worldwide since 2009. Dexter Laundry, located in Fairfield, Iowa, is an employee owned leading manufacturer of commercial laundry equipment. All equipment is manufactured in Iowa. Visit WSD online at or call toll free at 1-800-633-7153.

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