Kmart is hoping to clean up with a new laundromat concept it is testing in Iowa City, IA.
The concept known as Kwash is located in an area that formerly housed the Kmart store's car care center. The facility includes 31 washers and 30 dryers and includes free Wi-Fi, a play area for kids, a wash-and-fold service and on-site laundry attendant.
Kim Freely, a spokesperson for Kmart, told the Iowa City Press-Citizen, that Kwash is intended as a convenience for shoppers. "(It's) so you can shop while you wash. You can do all of your shopping right there and after an hour, you can pick it up."
Another Kmart spokesperson, Chris Brathwaite, told American Coin-Op, "We hope to build new customer relationships through the availability of the laundromat and through our premium services -- [drop-off service] and [online shopping] -- and hopefully create a steady stream of multitasking laundry customers."
The Kwash in Iowa City is currently in the process of going through a soft opening with its grand debut planned for June 5. Kmart has said it will evaluate the test store before making decisions on whether to expand it to other locations.
Discussion Question: Do you think Kmart is on to something with its Kwash laundromat service? Will it help boost sales in Kmart stores as consumers take care of their laundry and shopping at the same time and in the same place?
What do you think of the likelihood of success for Kmart's Kwash laundromat concept?