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Business Observer Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021 10 months ago

Woodie's world: Ambitious car-wash company makes more big moves

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Woodie's Wash Shack inks deal with Bucs, acquires more land for expansion.
by: Brian Hartz Tampa Bay Editor

Upstart car-wash brand Woodie’s Wash Shack has already begun to realize some of the grand ambitions it set for itself in spring 2020, when it launched with one location on the west side of St. Petersburg. Since then, it’s opened a second car wash in St. Pete and one on Gandy Boulevard in South Tampa, and it’s become the official car wash of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, inking a five-year partnership deal with the NFL team.

In mid-September, Woodie’s Wash Shack owner Shine Time Management LLC announced it had acquired a 2.65-acre site in Carrollwood that will be the home of the brand’s fourth Tampa Bay location. Construction, according to a news release, is set to begin in the first quarter of 2022. Meanwhile, locations in Lutz and Sun City should be open in November.

With its retro neon signage and wood-paneled station wagon logo, Woodie’s Wash Shack trades heavily in 1950s surf-culture nostalgia. Think the Beach Boys, Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello, Dick Dale and the Del-Tones and Elvis Presley’s trilogy of Hawaii films. That must be a winning formula, because Shine Time says it’s on track to have 15 locations by the end of next year and 50 by the end of 2026.

“We want to build something for people to belong to. The more locations we have, the more families we can serve and the more options our members will have,” Shine Time development partner Glen Stygar states in the release. “Clustering locations allows customers the freedom to purchase a single monthly membership and visit any Woodie’s in the area. By building a wash in Carrollwood, we are creating a better customer experience and membership value.”

Don Phillips, another partner, told the Business Observer last year the fragmented car-wash industry was ripe for disruption by a brand such as Woodie’s that aims to elevate the customer experience through upgrades such as radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and a monthly membership model — innovations that make car washes more efficient while also encouraging repeat business.

“From the standpoint of the fundamentals,” Phillips says, “this is the best business I've ever been a part of.” 

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