When Fashion Square Car Wash was opened in 1964, a full service car wash cost $1.50 and a tank of gas was even less. According to carwash.com, the company was founded by Charles Sockett after serving in the Marines during both World War II and the Korean War. After entering the car wash business, Charles owned and operated washes all across Southern California as well as distributed car wash equipment for major car wash manufacturing corporations. After being passed down two generations, Fashion Square Car Wash is now owned and operated by Charles’ grandson, Gregory Paul. So how does a business remain successful over the course of three generations? How has Fashion Square Car Wash maintained business for over 50 years?
One point of success noted by Paul is always keeping in fashion. In order to remain relevant over several years, the car wash has undergone several renovations and cosmetic redesigns, most currently with the installation of LED lights. But more major renovations have taken place to move Fashion Square Car Wash into the modern market. Since opening as a full service wash, they have transitioned to a flex serve, and in 2006 added an express lane in the place of a fourth vacuum lane. This has proven to be a successful move as express lanes have become widely popular since then. Their greatest move so far though, Paul told carwash.com, was the installation of a POS (point-of-sale) system that allows for the implementation of unlimited wash plans. He continued to say that since the addition of the POS system at Fashion Square they have gained over 2,000 unlimited members who contribute to a “steady stream of revenue every day”.
Programs like unlimited plans and POS systems are quick ways to increase customer loyalty, but Fashion Square Car Wash has been creating and maintaining a loyal customer base for decades. Paul chalks that up to the quality of the service provided and positive interactions with customers. One of the most important parts of running any business is estimating the correct pricing for the service. Fashion Square focuses on this point in maintaining a balance between price and quality so that a customer never leaves unsatisfied. If there is a complaint about quality, Paul explains that dealing with customer complaints correctly is just as important as getting the wash right; he’ll bring the car back in for an extra wipe-down and vacuum. After such a thorough response from management, customer satisfaction is almost guaranteed.
After decades of service, Fashion Square Car Wash remains a family name and continues to keep Southern California’s cars spotless and shining.