PoolWerx to make a splash with US acquisition

Sarah Stowe

Award winning pool and spa care franchise Poolwerx is treating the acquisition of US business Cactus Valley Pool Supplies in Phoenix, Arizona as the first wave in its major expansion. 
Cactus Valley Pool Supplies has been in business for 17 years and began franchising in 2006. The business has nine company owned outlets, seven franchised stores and nine mobile service units.  
John O’Brien Poolwerx founder and CEO said entering the American market was the realisation of a vision 22 years in the making. “I’ve always wanted to take the company to America because of the sheer size and opportunities within the marketplace. This is not the first opportunity that has come up for our American entry, but it was the right one,” he said.  
“It’s not insurmountable to believe Poolwerx could become a major force in the pool industry in the USA, and in franchising, very quickly. In fact, with the great support we have been experiencing, our forecasts have us with a potential of 50 franchised retail stores and mobile units by this time next year and 300 by 2020.”
O’Brien believes the American market is similar to Australia’s pool market two decades ago. 
“When we first started in Australia 22 years ago the market was extremely fragmented with lots of independents and small players trying to build critical mass. 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 will bring this expertise overseas as well, introducing our three tiered business model covering retail, service and commercial applications.”   
O’Brien said the first store will be converted to the Poolwerx brand and be ready to launch in time for the American summer season. The rest of the corporate stores will convert to franchised stores over the next year. 
“This acquisition is just the beginning for our brand overseas and we will eventually see more benefits for local franchise partners transpire particularly through an even stronger buying group, new learnings we can bring back to Australia, sharing of resources and technology. It really sets us up to build on our 22 years of creating a great franchise system and take it global.”