Poolwerx sees sales and franchise recruitment rise

By Sarah Stowe | 09 Sep 2020 View comments

Poolwerx has seen a massive rise in sales of big ticket items through the winter months, with spa sales rising by nearly 1000 per cent.

Chief operating officer Nic Brill told Inside Franchise Business Executive “The whole home services industry has boomed. People are looking to build activities into their household, or upgrade, to keep the family unit thriving.”

In addition to a sharp rise in spa sales, the franchise network reports a boost to pool additions such as heating equipment.

While supply shortages are putting a dampener on the immediate continued growth of the spa sector, it counts for just a small portion of the Poolwerx merchandise and services offer and the business overall has traded well.

Poolwerx sales rise

“When we had the initial shock in April, we went through enough of a depression [in sales] to make us concerned. That was chaotic. April dropped about 10 per cent in sales.

“In May and June there was a massive resurgence, the V bounce. In June we were 14-15 per cent ahead of last year, which was pretty dramatic considering where we’d come from,” said Brill.

“We put it down to people being at home and unable to travel, and thinking, now is the time to invest financial capital in the home.

Brill is clear the brand has been fortunate to be in the position it is today.

“We take a step back and recognise we are privileged to be in the situation we are in. That’s the number one thing, appreciating where we are and maximising opportunity.”

Trading through Victoria’s lockdown

Brill echoes Poolwerx founder John O’Brien’s earlier concerns about untreated pools becoming a health hazard, a point on which other pool franchisors have also been vocal.

“We are concerned about Victoria – health is the number one concern, for customers who are creating a contaminant at home [through untreated pools].”

Brill confirms that franchisees, particularly in Victoria, are using JobKeeper to help sustain business.  For franchisees in lockdown, doing deliveries, click and collect and emergency call-outs for the next seven weeks is sustainable, he says.

The diversified model helps, he points out, as franchisees can deliver mobile, retail and commercial services.

Franchisor is investing in two key areas

Technology and innovation, and marketing, are key areas of investment for Poolwerx right now.

“We’ve rolled out the NetSuite operating system. This is enhancing capabilities to the franchise partner, an all of business support tool,” said Brill.

The technology will maximise profitability, provide better levels of benchmarking, and improve efficiency of tasks.

Poolwerx is stepping up its marketing in three areas: a brand new TV commercial, the promotion of new products, and communicating its Covid-safe practices to clients.

Franchise recruitment booming

Lead generation keeps on growing, there’s a growth in applications and we are opening seven new stores.  We are getting greater access to independent businesses to convert,” Brill said.

“The seven stores are opening between July and December – we’ve still got quarters two, three and four to go, but we expect continuity in that process given the amount of leads and conversations we are having.

It could change tomorrow, it’s always about us keeping to our strategy, focusing on our clients, listening to our franchise partners, regularly moving and adjusting.”