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Poolwerx hopes to make a splash in US market with new acquisition

Written on the 14 April 2015 by Courier Mail

AUSTRALIA'S largest pool and spa care franchise Poolwerx is set to make a splash in the United States. 

The Brisbane based company has acquired Cactus Valley Pool Supplies in Phoenix, Arizona which has been in operating for 17 years and currently has 16 stores.

Poolwerx founder and CEO John O'Brien said launching into the American market was the realisation of a dream 22 years in the making.

Mr O'Brien said Poolwerx intended to expand earlier but was hindered by the GFC.

"The idea was always to purchase an independent group to test the Australian franchise model and adjust it to the American market," said Mr O'Brien.

"Our plan is to franchise 300 stores across the US within the next 5 years."

Mr O'Brien said the US market offers a unique opportunity because despite being 15 times larger than the Australian market there's only one pool franchise company currently operating in it.

"We saw the pool industry was a disorganised, not professional, after market industry in both retail and service," he said.

"What franchising does best is it organises disorganised industries."  

Mr O'Brien said there has already been interest from other pool businesses hoping to join the Poolwerx system.

"The pool store owner in America is typically a 65-year-old Ma or Pa who is thinking about retirement," said Mr O'Brien.

"It's very difficult to sell a technical pool business to someone not in the industry.

"However if you have the franchise community to fall back on, you go from having dozens of potential buyers to having thousands of potential buyers because franchises train the public to come into their system."

Mr O'Brien who has been Chairman of the Franchise Council of Australia, as well as Chairman of the World Franchise Council said Australian franchises are leading the world in terms of best practices.

"It's surprising more home grown franchise businesses don't go to America cause we are so good at it," said Mr O'Brien.

By Emma Williams

Read more: http://www.couriermail.com.au/business/poolwerx-hopes-to-make-a-splash-in-us-market-with-new-acquisition/story-fnihsps3-1227299104163

Author: Courier Mail

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