Shopping Centers Today International

DEC 2015

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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ProntoWash services some 200,000 cars per month at 80 units in its home country and 240 additional units abroad — in Colombia, Paraguay, Uru- guay, Venezuela, the U.S., Puerto Rico, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Kuwait and Mozambique. All are franchised ex- cept for two company-owned operations in Argentina. The company actually reentered the U.S. this year (it had entered once before and then departed), this time signing up with a franchiser based in Tampa, Fla. The U.S. commercial car-wash market, considered the most lucrative, with roughly 61,000 car washes, generates some $9 billion in nyone noT deSiRing to wash the car personally can take it over to a car wash. Anyone not desiring to do even that can get ProntoWash to come over and wash it, even at the workplace. or they can have ProntoWash do the job while they themselves — wait for this — go shopping. indeed, the shopping center may be an ideal to get the car washed, because that enables one to do something interesting while waiting. "you Shop, We Shine," trumpets the Argentina-based company's U.S. operation website. sales per year, according to research firm ibisWorld. Sales of these services have grown by some 2.7 percent annu- ally here since 2010. By contrast, euro- peans spend about $5.5 billion per year on car washes. Ceo Alan Packer co-founded and co-owns ProntoWash with business partner Sergio Kompel. They started ProntoWash in 2001 after the dot-com bust left them unemployed and seek- ing new business opportunities. Packer, a former banker, had invested and worked in dot-com firms, while Kompel, who has an MBA from Michigan State University, was involved in real estate development and other ventures. They took a new approach to car washing: instead of utilizing some large machine, ProntoWash uses a small team of wash- ers to clean vehicles the old-fashioned A Parking spotless while shoppers shop, prontowash cleans up their cars By María Bird Picó r e t A i l i n g t o d A y S C t / D e c e m b e r 2 0 1 5 46

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