Michael Finkelstein’s newest Laundry Land location in Portsmouth, Va., delivers a level of excellence that rises above others in his market. It’s been his commitment since starting in the business 13 years ago and it’s that same commitment that’s earned Finkelstein the Huebsch Store Owner of the Quarter honor.
“Simply put, Michael is a class act and his Portsmouth store, like his others, reflects his desire to raise the image of our industry,” said Kathryn Rowen, North American sales manager for the Huebsch brand of laundry equipment. “His professional approach is only surpassed by his spirit of service to the industry and giving back to the communities his businesses serve.”
About 13 years ago, Finkelstein tired of working for others and left his position as a broker in the food business to start his own venture. He said the laundry business was attractive because it allowed him to draw on his background in retail.
“This business appealed because the footprint was smaller, but you are still servicing customers,” he said, adding that vended laundries are “retailing in a different form.”
With that in mind, he bought Danville, Va.-based Associated Services Corp. and focused on delivering vended laundry customers the best possible experience. The foundation of that approach is built upon clean, well-lit and impeccably run facilities, with high quality equipment to help customers complete their laundry task quickly and efficiently.
The new Portsmouth location features a wide variety of capacities to match the needs of all the laundry’s customers, with Huebsch units featured prominently, including a pair of 80-pound capacity washer-extractors.
“Huebsch has worked very well for me in my stores,” Finkelstein said.
Huebsch equipment and Finkelstein’s approach, featuring an excellent customer experience, is again bringing in clients to the Portsmouth Laundry Land.
“Customers love the store and the equipment. We keep on attracting new folks and they continue to give positive feedback,” Finkelstein said. “They like the 80s because the store had never had that size before.”
Laundry Land includes beverage and snack machines as well as video games to keep children occupied. Customers also have appreciated the store’s loyalty program, which rewards them with a free wash after nine washes. Meanwhile, debit and credit card acceptance as well as a cash option create user-friendly payment flexibility.
The store’s wash-dry-fold business has been equally strong for Finkelstein, growing roughly 20 percent since it opened in November of last year. Keeping active in marketing, Laundry Land’s website serves as a base for customers to stay up to date, while Google AdWords helps keep the Portsmouth location (and other locations) visible for prospective customers searching for their services.
Finkelstein’s passion for the industry extends well beyond his highly successful business. In addition to serving on the Coin Laundry Association Board of Directors for six years, he’s active in the Laundry Cares Foundation and has hosted several Laundry Cares free laundry events at his laundromats.
“It’s extremely rewarding,” Finkelstein said of not just hosting the events, but also being on site helping individuals. “A lot of these folks are really in need…you know you are making a difference for them.” He recounted one story of an event at the Greenville location, where an attendee described a tornado that swept through and destroyed their home, forcing them to put clothes in storage. The free laundry day enabled them to bring all the clothes in and get them washed.
“Newcomers to this industry should aspire to follow Michael’s lead, both in the quality of the laundries he operates, as well as the way he treats others; a consummate professional,” Rowen said.
To learn more about Laundry Land, visit laundrylandlaundromats.com.