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Around the Industry

August 01, 2014
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NYC Consumer Affairs Dept. in favor of licensing carwashes

GRAPEVINE, Texas — There has been a recently proposed bill for carwashes to need licenses and a $300,000 surety bond in NYC, and the Department of Consumer Affairs came out in favor of it during testimony to the city council on June 17, according to the Epoch Times.

“We believe that this licensing scheme is a step in the right direction to improving the industry for carwash customers, owners, and workers,” Julie Menin, commissioner of the Department of Consumer Affairs, stated in the story.

The license would cost $550 under the proposed bill; carwashes would also need to provide a $300,000 surety bond, notes the article.

A 2010 NY State Department of Labor report stated around 80 percent of carwashes in NYC were suspected of serious wage violations. The report highlighted abuses such as pay below the minimum wage, improper payment of overtime and employees putting in over 70 hour work weeks.  

“Our goal is to have carwashes follow the relevant city, state, and federal laws,” City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito stated in the story.

Survey says: People think it’s important to support local businesses

CLEVELAND — There has been a surge in support of small businesses in recent years, according to Small Business Trends.

A survey by The UPS Store found that “94 percent of Americans believe shopping at small businesses is important,” noted the article.

The survey also found people were willing to spend more money and travel further to support small businesses in their community. There was a 41 percent increase between 2013 and 2014 of people who paid more to support a small business.

The survey showed a main reason people believe in supporting small businesses is that it helps to support the community at large

On The Spot Detailing celebrates 10 year anniversary

COLUMBIA, Md. — Over the course of the last decade, On The Spot has grown from a two-man mobile operation making $25,000 to multiple mobile and fixed locations grossing $1 million in sales in 2013, according to a press release.      

To celebrate their 10 year anniversary, the detailer gave 10 percent off or $10 off of service throughout June and July.

On The Spot operates in Baltimore, Washington D.C., and other surrounding areas according to the release. It also has a fixed location in Columbia, Md., two additional mobile units in Tampa, Fla., and recently opened a satellite location at the new Maryland Live! Casino in Hanover, Md.

“The newest casino location quickly transitioned from a trial run to a permanent on-site detailing service to the casino’s high-rolling clientele. Management built On The Spot a three-bay workplace in the valet area, complete with new lights, water fixtures, and storage,” states the release.  

Creative way to bring in business for detailers

PITTSBURGH — A Detail King Authorized Licensee came up with a novel idea to market their detailing shop to other businesses, according to Detail King.   

Employee Recognition Gift Certificates, about the size of a postcard, can be handed out to managers and business owners to give to their employees. These certificates, noted the blog, can be used for something like $50 off of a complete auto detailing service, or $10 off of any package. The blog recommends handing out these certificates to employers, and giving them enough to distribute to multiple workers.  

The gift certificates can be a win-win by giving new customers a discount, while drumming up additional business. Business owners will want to give these certificates out, stated the blog, because it’s a free way for them to show employees thanks for their hard work.

Special packages can be designed around this promotion, which give customers value, but still affords the detailer a good return as well.

Detail King will soon be coming out with a template to allow detailers to easily print out their own certificates.

Light lovebug season possibly from cooler weather

OCALA, Fla. — The lovebug season in May was far less of a nuisance than it has been in other years, according to Ocala.com.  

They did not completely cover windshields and front bumpers and the reason for the decrease, noted the article, may be the weather.

From October to April, lovebug eggs are developed from larva to a fly. "The lovebug spends most of its life as larva at the soil surface, usually beneath decaying vegetation,” Normal Leppla, a University of Florida professor, stated in the story.

“In that situation, it depends on its environment to be fairly stable. If it is too dry or too wet the larva will die. We don't have any data that confirms (it was the weather), but the environment probably wasn't supportive during last year," Leppla stated in the story. Air temperature could have also impacted lovebug season.

C-store second to Apple in sales per square foot

NEW YORK — An eMarketer report found that c-store chain Murphy USA has been able to generate more profit per square foot than many of the top boutique retail locations, according to CSPnet.com.           

Murphy’s locations average 400 square feet, noted the article, with average sales of $4,221 per square foot. The c-store chain, noted the article, benefits from a fuel discount program with Walmart.

“The main draw for customers is Murphy's industry-leading low-cost gas prices, and its small-format stores offer low-priced convenience items such as single-serve soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, single-unit snack items and tobacco,” stated the report. Many of the locations are on-site at Walmart.

The average c-store size is 2,744 square feet, and Murphy’s, which is much smaller, has been increasing store sizes in recent years. The company plans to open 50 to 70 new locations this year, notes the article.   

Community cash mob gives away $20 gift cards at carwash/deli

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The first 30 customers at Diamond Car Wash & Deli on May 29 received a $20 gift card to use at the store and carwash, according to wate.com.

The event took place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., and was funded by the ORNL Federal Credit Union.

Diamond started seven years ago as a mobile carwash, and has grown into an eatery as well. “Customers can take care of their vehicles while enjoying burgers, chicken, wings and hoagies,” noted the article.

The event was hosted by the Small Business Counts cash mob program, which was created in July 2013 to support local businesses.

First carwash union celebrates renewal of contact

LOS ANGELES — The Bonus Car Wash union was the first of its kind in this country, and celebrated its contract renewal on June 27, according to the Santa Monica Daily Press.        

The original contract was signed in 2011, and now, three years later, there are several dozen unionized carwashes in the U.S.

Gabriella Rosco, a representative for Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice Los Angeles (CLUE LA), stated in the story, “The original labor pact at Bonus gave workers a wage increase, grievance and arbitration procedures, and compliance with health and safety laws — critical in an industry in which workers handle harsh detergents and chemicals — including providing workers with safety equipment and clean drinking water.”

The new contract, she continued, provides workers with wage increases and seniority rights for employees.

CLUE LA, noted the article, has been pushing for two other washes in the area to unionize, but has had no success as of yet.

Carwash and detailer celebrate 50 years with 1964 prices, giveaways and more

BELMONT, Mass. — It’s been a long time since carwashes cost a dollar or two, but Belmont Car Wash took it back to those prices with its 50 year celebration, according to a press release.

The anniversary party took place June 21 starting at 10 a.m. Washes will cost $1 and $2, and there will be plenty of entertainment on hand, including food, music, vintage cars from 1964 and prize giveaways.

Belmont, noted the release, recently finished up massive renovations on both the interior and exterior of the carwash, as well as the waiting area.

“This is an exciting time and we are thrilled to be able to celebrate our anniversary with our community,” General Manager Adam Tocci stated in the press release. “Our father established this wash in 1964 and my brother and I continue do everything we can to make sure Belmont Car Wash and the Tocci name are synonymous with good neighbors and strong business partners for the town.”