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New business model improves sales at carwash

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Roland Bartels bought out his partner in 2012, and has changed his business model to a membership program to improve sales, according to the Columbia Daily Tribune.


COLUMBIA, Mo. — Tiger Express Wash has seen an uptick in sales since the owner, Roland Bartels, changed the business model two years ago after buying out his partner, according to the Columbia Daily Tribune.

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Gone were self-serve bays, at the four washes he owned, and in was a monthly membership program, where customers can wash their vehicle as often as they want at the Tiger locations.

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A study by Cornell University, that Bartels read noted the story, showed that a decreased price would improve membership, and also lower the monthly usage per washer. Monthly usage dropped from 4.6 washes to 3.1 with the new $20 price. “It’s like a buffet,” Bartels said. “You get charged $20 for a buffet, you’re going to eat and eat and eat and waste it. But if they charge you $7.50, you just eat what you need and don’t waste it.”


There are additional amenities at the wash, including a pre-tunnel power washing, free self-serve vacuums and mat cleaners, and free towels to clean the inside of vehicles for members.

The wash has two different lanes, one for members, and one for non-members. The single-wash lane has one or two clerks working it, while the other lane has an RFID sticker for quick use for members.

The loyalty program started with 400 members and has grown to over 8,000; the four Tiger Wash locations are expected to generate $4 million in revenue in 2014.


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