Swimart celebrates big anniversary

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Inside Franchise Business: Long time Swimart franchisee Bob TullySwimart, one of Australasia’s largest pool and spa specialist groups, is marking a major milestone: 35 years of operation.

What started as a single retail store in Killara, NSW, Australia has flourished and become a trusted expert in pool and spa maintenance and care. Today its franchising model has developed 75 stores across Australia and New Zealand with a fleet of more than 220 mobile service vans too.

Alex Johnson, Swimart's franchise development manager, believes the brand’s success is due to its loyal and long term franchisees, and the company support program.

“We are an agile company that is customer focused and service orientated, and we work closely with our franchise partners to educate pool and spa owners about how to get the most out of their investment,” Johnson said.

Malaysian migrant Soon Sinn Goh set up the business in 1983 and three years later established the franchising model. The 1988 acquisition of Swimworld Wholesale Pty Ltd, Swimworld Retail Pty Ltd and Poolquip Pty Ltd significantly boosted the brand's footprint.

One franchisee, Bob Tully, started out as the store manager at a Sydney pool outlet when it was purchased by Swimart in 1984. After serving as Swimart’s first franchise manager, it wasn't long before he had bought the Campbelltown store.

“Swimart provides its franchisees with fantastic marketing and advertising support, and it’s really good at keeping up with product trends and technology,” Tully said.

Pool owners are more time poor than ever before, however demand healthier, low-chlorine sanitisation methods, with the company’s decision to promote more regular water quality testing proving to be invaluable to franchisees.

“It’s good to be part of a company that moves with the times. It’s also good to have loyal customers, some of whom have been with us for more than 20 years.”

Fellow Swimart franchisee, Reg Blue, started working as Swimart store manager in 1989 before purchasing the Camp Hill store in 1995, which he still owns today.

“I saw the potential in the Swimart franchise and, having worked as a manager for a Swimart franchisee, I saw how successful the business model was,” Blue said.

Like Johnson, Blue attributes the company’s long-standing franchise success to Swimart’s dedicated franchisee support framework.

“I believe the company’s success comes down to a reputable brand, quality products and high-quality training and support. Swimart has also been instrumental in educating Australian pool owners about water safety and health.”

Swimart is owned by ASX-listed Waterco Ltd (ASX:WAT), a manufacturer, marketer and distributor of water treatment products.

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