Poolwerx snaps up US pool retailer

Inside Franchise Business: Poolwerx is growing its US operationAward winning pool and spa care franchise Poolwerx has marked its second anniversary in the US with the purchase of the largest independent pool retailer in north Texas and the completion of a new 10,000-square-foot facility in Dallas that will serve as the company’s US headquarters.

John O’Brien, CEO and founder of Poolwerx, said the new facility in Dallas was perfectly located to support franchisees from coast to coast as Poolwerx expands its US operations.

“It was always our intention to head our operation in Dallas,” O’Brien said. “With our recent acquisition of Dallas-based Dolphin Pool Supply, the timing was right to relocate our operations to the Dallas facility.”

Dolphin Pool Supply is one of the largest hot-tub retailers in Texas. Its substantial remodeling business is expected to provide lessons for the Australian business and help Poolwerx penetrate further into those segments.

O’Brien said Dolphin Pool Supply, a 50-year-old retail, service and pool renovation company generated more than $8 million in annual revenue.

Dolphin Pool Supply’s previous owners will remain with the business to coach and mentor key Poolwerx staff to refine their system to suit the Texas market.

Since entering the US market in 2015, Poolwerx has established 24 stores and 115 service vehicles in six US states and O’Brien said the company was on track to achieve its goal of opening 300 locations by 2021.

“As the largest pool and spa care franchise in Australia, I always wanted to take the company to America because of the sheer size and opportunities within the marketplace,” he said. “It’s not insurmountable to believe Poolwerx could become a major force in the pool industry in the US, and in franchising, very quickly.”

O’Brien drew comparisons between the current state of the American market and the Australian sector 20 years ago.

“When we first started in Australia 25 years ago the market was extremely fragmented with lots of independents and small players trying to build critical mass,” he said. “We worked hard to bring some order to it with our unique franchise model, and offer real career paths for people in this industry. We have brought this expertise overseas as well, introducing our three tiered business model covering retail, service and commercial applications.”   

He said the company plans to cover the Dallas market aggressively and has taken deposits from prospects interested in five new territories.

“The company now counts among its franchisees four builders in South Carolina and Georgia, all of which have remodeling businesses as well,” he said. “Remodel and renovation has been a slowly growing part of our business and one market we are keen to test the possibilities further.”