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Around the Industry - February 2014

January 27, 2014
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Car Wash Show™ 2014 details revealed

CHICAGO — The International Carwash Association® (ICA) announced that The Car Wash Show™ 2014 will kick off at the House of Blues in Chicago on March 31, at 7 p.m..

The Dec. 10 press release stated that the the night will feature a 100 Years of Car Washing Celebration. According to Eric Wulf, CEO, of the ICA, “The 100 Years of Car Washing Celebration is an exciting addition to Show’s already incredible array of offerings. We’re excited to be in a new city and welcome new people with a party in Chicago.”

According to the annoucement, The Car Wash Show is "expected to draw thousands of carwash professionals from around the world for premier educational sessions, peer-to-peer networking, and the latest products, technologies and services available to the industry. In 2014, the Show will be featured in a new city for the first time in several years."

In another announcement it was revealed that Daymond John and Robert Herjavec of the hit ABC show Shark Tank, will give the keynote address.

John is man behind the fahsion house FUBU and Herjavec is the head of security at The Herjavec Group. Come hear how these self-made millionaires achieved their business success.

Described as "self-made millionaires," John and Herjavec will speak on Tuesday, April 1 to those who have an all-access pass.

Over the past three years, atheletes gave the keynote addresses. Last year, it was Magic Johnson the year before that, it was Mike Ditka.

Carwash employee spots missing couple

TACOMA, WA — A Pink Elephant Carwash employee is getting praise for helping to spot and recover a missing elderly couple who had wandered off, KTVB reported.

The story said Susan McConnell had heard that the man and woman, who both suffer from dementia, had gone missing from their family care facility. 

Then, in late November, the couple showed up at the carwash.

“The woman came in and asked to use the bathroom,” McConnell said in the story. McConnell, who's father suffers from dementia, recognized the telltale signs and invited the couple to hang out and offered them hot chocolate. She then called 911.

"The 911 officer said, 'That's our couple.' And I mean I started shaking," McConnell said in the story. "I had goose bumps, oh yeah, it was wonderful. ...When the family showed up, the daughter came up and she thanked me and she was crying and said they had had the worst 12 hours."

Founder of Magic Wand Car Wash receives military medal

BRISTOL, VA — Bobby Griffin, founder of the Magic Wand Car Wash chain, recently received the Korean War Veteran Medal during a ceremony held in Seoul, South Korea, according to a TriCities.com report.

The story said Griffin not only served in the war, but also went on to foster children from South Korea.

“It was this unconditional caring that left me, not scarred from war, but rather enriched by the experience, and, oddly enough, better for it,” Griffin said in a prepared statement, according to the story. “It is very fulfilling to be able to transform the experience of war into something positive. That is often not the case.”

The ceremony included recorded comments from President George W. Bush and the Reverend Billy Graham.

NY policeman shuts down at-home carwasher

NEW YORK — A man here was trying to wash his car in his driveway when a police officer told him it was illegal, according to a carscoops story.

The Dec. 16 story said a neighbor apparently called the police. The man said he didn't know he couldn't wash his own car in his own driveway.

To see a video of the incident, visit www.carscoops.com/2013/12/wtf-ny-police-officer-threatens-man-for.html.

Presenting the food trend predictions for 2014

According to a CSPnet.com report, c-store food trends predicted for 2014 include everything from healthier snacking to store-brand, versus name-brand, items.

The Dec. 19 story said supermarket guru Phil Lempert’s forecast shows a trend towards "better-for-you snacking." 

"We witnessed a huge proliferation of better-for-you packaged snacks and beverages this year. The trick for retailers will be finding the right product mix between core SKUs and the new, better-for-you crop, and determining where in the store to place the more healthful items. Lean on suppliers for category-management support," the report stated.

The report also stated that a ConAgra Foods survey shows over half of consumers go to a particular retailer because of their in-house brands. "We’ve certainly seen the power of private label for some c-store retailers, and the growth and evolution of c-store foodservice will further help elevate the c-store brand," the report said.

One more thing the report revealed was the trend towards "fast casual" foods which are of better quality or are healthier. "We’ve all heard former Wawa CEO Howard Stoeckel’s vision of creating a new segment: Fast casual to go. Many c-store chains have the fast-casual attributes down: speed of service, customization, and certainly convenience. The competitive challenge is delivering the quality that makes customers willing to pay that little bit more," the report stated.

C-store sales are up, according to global market research report

According to an NPD Group report, third-quarter c-store sales are up in comparison to last year, CSPnet.com reported.

The Dec. 4 article stated that less volatile gas prices, gas discounts, and reward and loyalty programs are part of the reason sales were up 1.5 percent for the quarter, which ended in September.

Also, both c-store traffic and reach grew in the third quarter compared to last year, the story said. And, "total product purchase visits to c-stores in a 30-day period were up 1 percent in the third quarter compared to same quarter year ago."

While purchases were up, the average number of individual visits from customers was down 5.3 percent. "In addition to visit declines, heavy discounting and product dealing contributed to an average check decrease in the quarter, which resulted in a decrease in total product sales in the period. The discounts and promotions did, however, resonate with shoppers, boosting impulse buying significantly quarter over quarter," the story said.

April Moffa, the NPD c-store industry analyst, said in the article that the slow economic rebound is still making consumers wary of spending too much.  She said that consumers are hesitant to spend, but they are open to "dealing."

"Opportunities exist to grow product purchases through increased impulse buying. Targeting key demographics, product offerings and strategic in store placement are key to this growth," Moffa said in the article.

TX mayor says eminent domain letter was a mistake

DALLAS — The mayor has commented on the story involving carwash owners Freddy and Dale Davenport who had receieved an eminent domain letter from the city, the Dallas Observer reported.

The owners said they received a letter from the city stating that their wash was in the way of a city project and they would have to sell the business. Dale presented the letter as proof and it showed it was signed by Lou Jones, a city real estate manager.

According to a Dec. 12 Dallas Observer story, Mayor Mike Rawlings is stating that the letter was a mistake due to "a failure in communications at city hall."

The reporter also stated that he has heard a lot of negative buzz about the carwash throughout city hall. Many apparently questioned why it was always so busy and profitable wondered if it was because it serves a front for drug dealing.

Dale responded to the accusations by citing his college education as well as his history in the carwashing industry. He also stated that his carwash is busy because they run an exceptional business.

"I am standing here looking at seven bays that are covered up with cars," Dale said in the story, "three cars behind each bay. Do they think that I'm not making any money down here?...We keep our prices reasonable. We use a lot of soap, good pressure. We give people a good wash. I give 1,200, 1,300 pounds of pressure, you know. Our vacuum cleaners work. You put your money in, I've got Sensitron [coin boxes] in there that are electronic so the quarters don't hang up like they will at some carwashes."

Carwash handed out $1 bills and free washes on Black Friday

TAUNTON, MA — The Prestige Car Wash here gave away free exterior washes on Black Friday as well as $1 bills, USA Today reported.

The story said Owner Ronen Drory said he had to "think outside of the box" to gain attention.

Drory said he anticipated between 1,500 and 2,000 cars before he made the decision. He brought in extra employees to help with the influx.

"This is the kind of thing people will remember 10 years from now," he said in the story.