Flashy Car Wash

Membership Programs Work

Monthly memberships increase sales. Even at IBAs. Even in depressed areas.


Flashy Car Wash is located in what, at first, seems like an attractive location. Right off a highway off-ramp in Lodi, Ohio. Near an outlet mall and other retail attractions. But then the outlet mall fell on hard times, with storefronts more than two-thirds empty.  

Other surrounding businesses and restaurants closed. Daily traffic dropped by nearly half (to 7,837 cars per day, down from a high of 14,465 per day). What’s an in-bay automatic (IBA) wash to do? Start a membership program, with assistance from Dencar, of course. We’ve all heard that membership programs don’t work at IBAs because their volume isn’t high enough. The results observed at Flashy, even in a less-desirable location, dispel that notion.

Making it Count!

As traffic counts, retail business, and local restaurants dwindled, Flashy owners committed to implementing a monthly membership program. It was counter to conventional wisdom, as IBAs have limited throughput, and the fear of cannibalizing retail wash sales is high.

How can it be done? The site absolutely needed an unattended pay station system that was both easy for customers to use and fraudproof for the owner’s peace of mind. That combination hadn’t existed before … then enter Dencar.

In March of 2020, Flashy Car Wash installed Dencar point-of-sale retrofits on their pay stations. The Dencar platform included monthly membership plans and fraud mitigation using the patent-pending Vehicle Identification Automation (VIA Guard) system. 

No other changes to the wash were implemented. No on-site employment was ever used except for maintenance and trash removal.

The addition of the pass program was completely additive to the site.

The Results

The results were staggering. In a 22-month period, revenue increased by 51%. Washed-car counts increased by 55%. In the midst of this, full pay retail sales increased by 11%. The explanation? The memberships increased monthly volume, and that boost in activity attracted other sales. It means the addition of the pass program was completely additive to the site.

Memberships increase retail sales

Dencar Technology helped to significantly increase car wash sales in a locale where all other factors were decreasing. Membership plans at an IBA yielded similar results found at tunnel washes. The owner wondered how much income he missed out on over the years without a properly functioning monthly membership program. He installed Dencar pay stations at all his other locations. The location of this study was eventually sold … at a much higher amount than would have been available just two years prior.

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