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Outlook is good for c-store carwashes this year

March 29, 2012
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According to a Convenience Store Decisions story, it’s been a challenging couple of years for convenience store/carwash multi-profit centers in terms of upgrades and new developments, but all that should change for the remainder of 2012.

The March 28 story quoted Eric Wulf, CEO of the International Carwash Association™ (ICA), who said, “We know from our equipment sales reports that there have been low levels of investment, particularly at petroleum c-store carwash sites.”

However, manufacturing reports already show “an uptick in orders from c-stores and gas stations with carwashes,” the story said.

The reason could be mainly due to the fact that the economy is stabilizing, Wulf said.

“Secondly,” Wulf added, “many carwashes have been divested along with gas stations over the last 10 years and the new owners are, in many cases, petroleum marketers and c-store retailers, who spent a lot of money revamping their new gas stations and then had to take care of other required expenses like PCI compliance in the middle of a down economy. So they have had a lot of things to deal with before they could even focus on improving the carwash on the side of their property.”

Wulf also said that one of the big trends right now is short carwash tunnels which are designed for convenience stores and gas stations. “Now there is the ability to take a rollover in-bay machine that many gas stations and c-stores have now and put in a short conveyor that could increase the number of cars that can be washed per day,” he said in the story.