CLA Connect Open Forum

Subject: Kids Play Area

1.  Kids Play Area

Posted 06-17-2017 09:00
My laundry customers are primarily low income families and of course when they come to do their laundry they bring the whole family with them. On the weekends it is total ciaos. There is a small area available next to me that I have been considering incorporating into my laundry which would allow me to add more folding tables, seating area and room to create a small child play area. This would of course be all non-revenue producing square footage, but my thought is that in making the laundry more comfortable and/or inviting to families it would eventually result in more business. This would be something that my other local competitors do not have.
What do you think? Would this be a good thing to try or should I just continue to chase after the kids as they climb in and out of the lower dryers and play bumper cars with the laundry carts???

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O'Connell
Store Owner/ Employee
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2.  RE: Kids Play Area

Posted 06-17-2017 09:08
Edited by Paulie B 06-17-2017 09:10
I have a "Kiddie Korner" in one of my mats. We stock it with educational games that we chain down, lol.
It helps a little, but not much.




Putting the TV on with cartoons seems to work better without the need to sacrifice space.

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Paulie B
Store Owner/ Employee
Mr Machine
New York City NY
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3.  RE: Kids Play Area

Posted 06-17-2017 09:25
This little space empty front create good play ground for kids. Also the cartoon TV too.
Business grow good, more family wash now than before.




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Phu Tran
Store Owner/ Employee
Garland TX
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4.  RE: Kids Play Area

Posted 06-18-2017 09:56
  |   view attached
This is our play area we have at our mat.  We provide TV, foam blocks, books and coloring pages for the kids.  However it only keeps some kids busy, the other half always seems to still be running around.  Just be prepared to clean up and wipe down daily.

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Chris Lee
h2o Laundromat
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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5.  RE: Kids Play Area

Posted 06-18-2017 10:13
Guys,

I've never understood how we can provide large play areas for the kids yet we must stack our dryers, one atop the other, as part of our basic service.  Maybe our priorities are wrong?  Yes, a proper drying department equipped with single pocket dryers requires more room than a department equipped with stacked dryers.  However, a single pocket drying department commands a higher vend price, affords a competitive edge, allows one to buy the EXACT right amount of dryers (no need to buy dryers in even numbers), requires less maintenance (self cleaning lint screens allow weekly lint collection) and is much more user-friendly.

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Larry Adamski
Muskegon Laundromat
Spring Lake MI
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6.  RE: Kids Play Area

Posted 06-18-2017 11:20
Edited by Paulie B 06-18-2017 11:21
Larry,

If one has the room, they're both good!

People will value single dryers because there's more room to move around, nicely placed height of the door opening for nearly all people's heights, a lot less lint cleanup, and less bumping into one another.

People will value a Kid's play area because it will help take some pressure off of monitoring their children motivating them to choose your mat, tends to direct the kids away from the machines and carts which can be hazardous and destructive, and....the Kids will say to their parents..."I wanna go to the place that has that cool kiddie corner"....

Not convinced? McDonalds restaurants have a LOT of space dedicated to awesome kid's play areas!

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Paulie B
Store Owner/ Employee
Mr Machine
New York City NY
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7.  RE: Kids Play Area

Posted 06-18-2017 12:10
Most people I see don't watch their kids.  Let them run around and smash carts, climb on everything.  I'd rather not have them bring them.

I've noticed many McDonald's have abandoned their play areas for more modern stores.

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Chris M
Norfolk VA
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8.  RE: Kids Play Area

Posted 06-18-2017 12:32
Chris,

As far as McDonald's play areas are concerned...I have to disagree. They are still building them and people with kids will seek out the ones with play areas....

Indoor Play Area at McDonald'sIndoor Play Area at McDonald's


Best McDonalds in the area! Has kid's playground!

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Paulie B
Store Owner/ Employee
Mr Machine
New York City NY
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9.  RE: Kids Play Area

Posted 06-18-2017 11:24
That will be money well spent. I am a new operator the only one with a play area. It Is not as big as i had anticipated in the drawings but it is enough. I have a kids table, about 12 chairs (from sams that are metal and plastic and strong snough to hold an adult), flat screen with netflix playing movies or shows (mostly whateber the kid's consensus is) and bookshelfs with educational and story books. It is amazing the reaction i get. It is a huge conoetitive advantage, especially considering im new and my conpetitors stores are not too tired looking. We have become the kids favorite destination. The parents tell me the kids ask to come to my mat when its laundry day. The parents love it too bc they can focus on their laundry and know the kids are behaving for the most part. We still have kids that are not tv kids and like to roam but that is pretty minimal. Across from the kids area is another tv area with a table. Depending on the age rane of the kids we will invite the older ones to move and watxh more age appropriate programming to keep them entertained (aka not running around and bothering their parents). We have even had kids cry when they have to go home if they are in the middle of a movie. Final suggestion, be welcoming to the kids, interact with them, etx. Parents notice that. And it also makes the kids more at ease. Best of luck!

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Tommy Thompson
Store Owner/ Employee
Dallas TX
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10.  RE: Kids Play Area

Posted 06-18-2017 12:20
Be aware that you do have some liability when you have a kids area.  You have to keep all the toys clean so as not to spread all those kid germs.  You have to avoid sharp corners, falling issues, etc.  We had a kids area and a TV for quite awhile and what we found was that kids have very short attention spans and the kids area and tv only kept them contained for a short time.  We also used to find toys all over the store that caused trip hazards for regular customers.  Also, NO CRAYONS EVER!  We eventually got rid of the play area.  We do, however, keep some kids books and puzzles around.

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VILLENE LANSBERRY
Store Owner/ Employee
BELLINGHAM WA
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11.  RE: Kids Play Area

Posted 06-18-2017 12:38
​Very well said about germ, we have to spray Lysol every night, at least 2 cans a week, it is not cheap, but concerned for children safety, we also run ozone generator (5000mg/ hr) on the play ground once a week after closing for 2 hours.
We install the play ground after I saw the kid run at full speed then slam to the 10' high windows, break it in piece, very afraid moment when I review video footage, luckily no one get hurt, for now we are OK, I also install 4 ' Lexan to protect all windows (we have over 100' windows LOL).

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Phu Tran
Store Owner/ Employee
Garland TX
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12.  RE: Kids Play Area

Posted 06-18-2017 16:36
We have a Little Free Library in cooperation with Shasta Early Literacy Program and First Five Shasta.  Kids books, some teen and reading material.  We don't have the space for a children's area, but I can see it would be helpful.

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Les Monthei
Potential Investor
Redding CA
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13.  RE: Kids Play Area

Posted 06-18-2017 21:00
We have a kids area too. We include two tables, the classroom-type chairs, a small slide, other larger-size toys, tons of books and a tv showing cartoons. The kids and parents love it. We are strict about requiring that the toys remain in that area. Yes, many children cry when its time to leave and some even cry to enter when parents walk past the store on non-laundry days.

Be prepared to constantly replace items. I only purchase second hand, durable toys and books. I agree that crayons and any other writing instruments are bad news. Balls are also bad imo.

While I absolutely love our Kids' Corner, I don't know if I could justify renting additional space for it unless it was VERY inexpensive. Hopefully you can find a way to squeeze some revenue from that extra space as well.

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Yvette Morton Williams
Store Owner/ Employee
Wash & Spin Coin Laundry
Atlanta GA
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14.  RE: Kids Play Area

Posted 06-19-2017 00:23
Not a chance, kids are dirty, disruptive, and noisy. The older tourist types traveling through this area would go somewhere else and they spend more money than the parent age people.

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Janet Carson
Store Owner/ Employee
Busy Bubbles LLC
Port Orford OR
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15.  RE: Kids Play Area

Posted 06-19-2017 09:36
Janet,

Are you saying that your older tourists have more laundry and therefore spend more money in your mat than a family with kid's clothes that get dirty more often?

In my market, the customers with kids come with way more laundry than an adult couple. The more kids....the more laundry.

However, I DO relate to disruptive, noisy kids! They can be a pain.
That's the whole point of this topic....to use a  Kid's Play Area to help keep them occupied while their parents are using all those triple loaders & giant washers.

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Paulie B
Store Owner/ Employee
Mr Machine
New York City NY
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16.  RE: Kids Play Area

Posted 06-19-2017 10:20
I've enjoyed reading all about the different approaches to keeping kids occupied while in the mats. And the photos show me how attractive and creative we can make these spaces. I have a corner set up with things, but the kids are free to take items up other areas as needed. I dont have much extra space but do what I can. I do it because I really love kids and enjoy all the kids I meet here. I am strict tho about running and noise etc ! One toy that's by far the most used and keeps kids busy the longest are Brain Flakes interlocking plastic discs. I found them on eBay. It's the only thing I have that's what you might think expensive but those 500 pieces really do last. I bought one set in 2014 and another last year. I am redoing a corner that had two old maytags (putting in one washer) to have more seats and a small table.

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Gayle Broome
Store Owner/ Employee
Hood Street Laundromat
Alvin TX
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