2020 has been described frequently as “unprecedented,” and that certainly was true for the swimming pool industry.
The U.S. has more than 11 million residential swimming pools in the U.S.1, and every one of them needs the services and expertise provided by locally owned and operated Pinch A Penny stores.
“Would I encourage other people to open a Pinch A Penny? Absolutely! When the government declares you ‘essential,’ that’s a big deal. Restaurants were closed, retail closed, but we were open … and as challenging as 2020 was, we ended up by a lot year over year,” says Jeff Lewis, who has owned a Pinch A Penny franchise in Lighthouse Point, Florida, for the past nine years.
The swimming pool industry is worth an estimated $15 billion.2 Spring 2020 brought a surge in demand for pools – both in-ground and above-ground – to be added to existing homes that was double to quadruple the normal levels.
Families invested time and money into home improvements and an outdoor-centered lifestyle as they spent last summer at home rather than on vacation. Pool contractors report the interest in building and owning pools and spas remain at very high levels early in 2021.
“Most of the pool builders I know are booked 90 to 100 days out to give an estimate,” says Greg Bowers, the Pinch A Penny franchise owner in Orange Park and Fleming Island, Florida. “It was a record year for pool permits and remodeling.”
Now all those families need to maintain their new pools.
Pool maintenance is a thriving and recurring business, because pools need to be taken care of in order to continue to work properly and safely.
About half of all pool owners hire someone else to service their pools. The rest of them need chemicals, supplies and equipment to keep their pools working efficiently. That’s why Pinch A Penny’s business model is based on multiple streams of revenue – retail, pool cleaning and backyard services.
Pinch A Penny retail stores sell supplies and equipment and offer customers free water testing and guidance on how to use chemicals to keep pools and spas working optimally. Pool cleaning technicians handle routine maintenance services. And Pinch A Penny offers a variety of backyard and repair services, such as leak detection, pool resurfacing, power washing, equipment installation and more, necessary to keep pools and spas operating safely and the backyard ready for families to have fun together.
Lewis, the franchisee in Lighthouse Point, says he has noticed that two of the three revenue streams are always busy. Last year, his location saw substantial increases in the pool cleaning and retail operations. “People were staying home more, and they were looking at the backyard and thinking, ‘It’s time to fix up the pool.’”
2 U.S. Residential Swimming Pool Market Report by PKdata
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