Iconic brand Clark Rubber is charging ahead with investment, innovation, and expansion as it actions a new growth strategy.
Successful sales growth has marked the retailer out as a resilient business option.
Financial results show the heritage retailer ramped up sales as it came out of Covid. And the growth trajectory has remained steady since then.
Strong performance is a good foundation
CEO Anthony Grice says, “At a time that everybody was online, we gained new customers, and as our product and brand awareness has grown, we have maintained that strong trajectory of sales”.
“We are comfortable that in the current economic climate our resilient business model will continue to perform.”
Clark Rubber has increased customer numbers and seen improvements in the average transaction values at the point of sale.
The brand also has a strong conversion rate for customers researching products online and then coming in-store to purchase.
Customers who researched online come instore with a purpose, reducing the need for more retail staff to help browsing customers.
“This is the strength of the Clark Rubber model, you’re not overstaffing,” says Anthony.
Elevating the customer experience
Last year the business invested in a new website that has elevated the customer experience and customer and store communications.
Product-based innovations such as the made-to order cushion program in partnership with international textile wholesaler Warwick have been very successful, he says.
In the process of selecting the perfect fabric for the setting, customers can use a new app to visualise how the cushions would look in their indoor or outdoor setting.
“These are examples of our investment and innovations in tech improving customer experience,” says Anthony.
“We are constantly looking at new product ranges to keep the range continually growing.”
The retailer may even bring on additional selections that complement the classic pool, rubber and foam items which are the basis for the Clark Rubber business.
Clark Rubber boosts growth strategy with strong team
Under new ownership the retailer now has added significant capacity and capabilities within its national support team across category management, marketing and learning and development.
The company has a growing marketing team to help educate and inform customers through engaging content, used across multiple channels especially social media and website. This content is planned and created to reflect the expert advice offered to customers across a diverse range of products, some with highly technical information.
The marketing program at Clark Rubber is seasonally driven with key sales events over the warmer summer months across the pool categories, with activity also across the ‘winter’ months where the marketing focus moves to align more with the foam and rubber categories.
At a local store level, all stores have access to Local Area Marketing (LAM) tools and support so they can and are highly advised to invest in ‘Always On’ marketing campaigns through social media and local channels where possible. This is then amplified at the key promotional times during the year when the national marketing program kicks in across tv and radio.
Behind every great retailer is a strong training program and Clark Rubber is right on trend with its own Academy which provides full induction training.
Learning and development
A new learning and development manager is leading the brand’s education program, which includes online staff learning modules.
At Clark Rubber a key ingredient of success is the focus on developing franchisees and their staff.
Franchisees complete a three-week comprehensive induction program before moving into a customised support program as they begin trading. Staff also complete an induction and product training program that unpacks the technologies and services on offer and how these are brought to market.
Clark Rubber understands the franchisee lifecycle, and what is required to support and develop franchisees and staff to enable them to thrive in a competitive market.
Regional sales managers also support franchisees and employees by providing guidance, sharing best practices and insights developed over the 76 years the successful network has been serving customers.
Clark Rubber’s suppliers also deliver pertinent and important service and product training to staff in-store so team members are well-equipped to provide good customer advice.
Mobile opportunities part of growth potential
Anthony says pool servicing is the biggest growth opportunity for all stores, and the most successful retail franchisees are already heavily engaged with this.
“The stores with the most significant growth are taking their business outside the four walls, out on the road.
“There is huge growth potential with the mobile service model. We mapped every residential pool in Australia and have used the result to define territories. We know how much revenue a pool van can bring in, and this is just the beginning; we expect strong growth in the service area,” Anthony says.
For all enquiries about investing in a store franchise opportunity with Clark Rubber and or mobile pool service van, please contact our national network development manager, Jason Charles: 0400 922 493.