In this exclusive Q&A, we get to learn about Poolwerx and its commitment to maintaining healthy and safe pools, from its CEO and founder, John O’Brien.
Franchise Chatter (FC): Can you tell us more about Poolwerx?
John O’Brien (JOB): Poolwerx is the third-largest pool and spa aftermarket business in the world with more than 150 stores. Poolwerx started in Australia over 25 years ago and moved to the United States in 2015 when we purchased a large independent operator in Phoenix and rebranded 10 retail stores to refine our model for the U.S. Now, after three short years here, Poolwerx has 74 locations across seven states.
FC: What services do you offer?
JOB: Poolwerx franchise partners are committed to helping pool owners maintain the day-to-day health of their pools and to keep them at their sparkling best. We look after everything to do with a pool, hot tub or water feature. We run stores for do-it-yourself pool owners to get advice, water tests and chemical supplies. And we run service vans for do-it-for-me clients who want their pool totally maintained. We also repair and install new equipment, act as a poolside advisory service and manage total pool renovations.
Our franchise partners provide these services from clean, crisp, well-branded pool stores that act as a hub for their mobile service and maintenance fleet of vans.
There are many misconceptions and mysteries about pool maintenance – such as water testing, chemical dosing, is salt a good option, the best equipment – so client education and advisory is a big part of our service.
FC: Who are your main competitors?
JOB: The pool maintenance industry is largely comprised of independent retailers and service guys who have been around for decades. It’s disorganized and piecemeal – providing fertile competitive ground for a tightly-organized and well-branded network such as ours. We’re able to provide the kind of collective buying power, marketing, training and back-of-house systems and support that are well beyond the capacity of an independent.
In fact, much of our growth in the U.S. is coming from existing independents choosing to join us or us helping find franchise buyers for their mature business.
Refreshingly, there are very few organized franchise competitors in this space and that’s a rarity!
FC: What makes Poolwerx an attractive opportunity for potential franchise partners?
JOB: Poolwerx is an attractive opportunity for many reasons – one being the multiple streams of revenue – retail store sales, e-sales, mobile services to both domestic and commercial clients, hot tub sales and total renovations. This, together with the many commercial revenue markets – hotels, home owner associations, schools, swim schools, condominiums, and the ability to capture both do-it-for-me and do-it-yourself clients, gives huge market growth scope.
It’s also a refreshing new industry for franchising, a new alternative for potential franchisees to consider.
And new franchise partners need no prior experience in the industry. Our training academy in Dallas is regarded as the best in the world in provision of technical, retail and business management skills in our industry, and our spread of experienced Business Development Managers across the country give great hands-on local support.
FC: Where do you see Poolwerx growing in the next ten years?
JOB: Our U.S. strategic plan sees us growing rapidly to 300 stores and 900 mobile units by 2023, but at the current rate of growth, we will blow that away. In the immediate term, we’re focused on the Sunbelt – seeking franchise partners particularly in California, Arizona, Texas, Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas. But we are getting more and more inquiries from the whole south and now the northeast – we will be there soon too.
FC: How can people learn more about Poolwerx and its franchising opportunities?
JOB: People can learn more about our franchise opportunities by visiting www.poolwerx.com/franchising/.