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The Conference Room

World’s Largest Laundromat Owner: It’s About an Emotional Connection

By Gabrielle Karol The Conference Room FOXBusiness

Lessons from the World's Largest Laundromat

Mark Benson on how birds and bicycles can grow a laundry business.

Washer, dryer, detergent … and birds?

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While winged creatures may not seem like typical laundry room staples, Berwyn, Illinois’ World’s Largest Laundromat is not your typical one. The second-generation family business strives to make doing laundry fun for the whole family in order to beat the competition.

“It’s about emotional connection. It’s about giving customers a reason to come back,” says Mark Benson in a Conference Room interview with FBN’s Jeff Flock. “There are literally hundreds of laundromats our customers could all go to within a 5-mile radius … But we want them to come back here and they drive here, because they have a connection to it.”

Aside from a bird exhibit, the World’s Largest Laundromat features a children’s play area and a bicycle raffle. The Benson family also hosts community events at the laundromat, which is large enough to house 300 machines – in addition to all the extra amenities.

“It’s just a part of supporting the community, knowing who our customers are, [and] listening to our employees, who are talking to our customers,” says Benson. The World’s Largest Laundromat has held immigration events, seminars on solar energy and other topics they feel will attract customers.

While other business owners might look at the play area and see potential for more machines – and more profits – Benson says his family feels the business does better financially by making the laundromat a pleasant and unique place to visit.

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“If we have an aisle that’s nice and wide, and we removed it … then it’s going to be uncomfortable and cramped,” and customers will go elsewhere, says Benson. “Being good and being profitable are related.”

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