"We have come a long way in a short time and have no intention of taking our foot off the gas."
Owner, Poolwerx Beaches
Owner Nick McAbee first learned the ins and outs of the pool and spa industry by helping a friend as a pool technician and later, assisting in the sale of his pool franchise business. The experience inspired McAbee to start his own pool company. "I started a fiberglass pool building company and later evolved into retail, maintenance and service," says McAbee. Then in 2017, he joined a franchise of his own: Poolwerx.
Fiberglass construction continues to be a large part of the business, as the company installs 25 to 30 pools per year. As construction continues to grow, so does its service department — Poolwerx Beaches retains about 90% of its builder clients for maintenance and service. And as for its retail sector, the company is also thriving.
The store has over 3,600 positive Google reviews, earning a 5-star rating. The result would not be possible without its relentless customer service. "Without the client, there is no business," says McAbee. "We take special care in making sure the customer experience is perfect from start to finish."
The showroom is carefully designed. Staff is friendly and professional, and always in uniform. Special air fresheners soften the chemical smells. Displays double as tech-training stations and stages for free "Pool Schools" each month. Televisions display successful projects, products and specials on a loop. And each product has been selected and placed with purpose, as Poolwerx Beaches uses scientific data to successfully merchandise the store.
"We have spent countless hours analyzing data within a 10-mile radius of the store to ensure we stock the appropriate inventory on our shelves," says McAbee. The company also features a "Product of the Month" on its showroom floor, which is positioned at its point-of-sale counter.
While a large portion of the business is influenced by quantitative data, some of its endeavors are simply based on what feels good and is enjoyable. This means for McAbee, as a father of two, a lot of his ideas are inspired by his family.
The "Follow the Duck" promotion, for example, involved passing out rubber ducks to everyone that visited his booth at his children's PTA event. "We asked everyone to take a photo with the duck during their summer travels [the winner would receive a new, outdoor grill]," says McAbee. "We received photos from all over the world. That promotion was a huge success, and our social media following and store traffic grew tremendously."
McAbee was also inspired to co-found Swim Safe America, a non-profit that provides free swimming lessons. "As a father, this organization is very important to me," he says. "I am a firm believer that a balance between personal and business endeavors leads to happiness and success."
This article first appeared in the April 2021 issue of AQUA Magazine — the top resource for retailers, builders and service pros in the pool and spa industry. Subscriptions to the print magazine are free to all industry professionals. Click here to subscribe.