Pinch A Penny’s designation as an essential business and its financial performance during the pandemic, coupled with more than 40 years of recorded positive growth, earned the brand a spot on a list of the “Top 50 Recession-Proof Franchises” published recently by Franchise Business Review (FBR).
FBR, a leading market research firm specializing in franchisee satisfaction and performance, used history as a guide to identify a variety of business sectors that it expects to outperform others over the next few years, including home repair and maintenance services and specialty retail. FBR also considered key factors such as whether the franchise provides a necessary product or service; performance during previous economic downturns; strong historical unit-level economics; and market growth potential to determine the Top 50 list.
“As a company founded 45 years ago, Pinch A Penny has seen its fair share of economic ups and downs in the economy. Despite all these, we have recorded more than 40 years of positive growth and remain the leading swimming pool franchise,” says Michael Arrowsmith, Chief Development Officer of Pinch A Penny. “Our business model provides essential services through multiple revenue streams that combine retail, pool cleaning and several backyard services, including pool renovations, leak detection and power washing. With families hunkered down at home, our franchisees have been busily dedicated to keeping pools fully operational and maintained with the right balance of chemicals in order to create the safest, most sanitary water environment for family fun.”
Providing an Essential Service
With stay-at-home orders in effect in the states in which Pinch A Penny operates, families staying at home used their pools more than ever. They depended on their local Pinch A Penny stores to help them stay safe, especially after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the coronavirus could not be spread through fully operational pools and hot tubs that were properly maintained with the right balance of chemicals.
Pinch A Penny franchise owners went above and beyond to serve their customers during the COVID-19 crisis. They followed all recommended guidelines and, in many cases, went further than required to ensure customers felt comfortable when visiting their neighborhood Pinch A Penny. For example, franchise owners installed Plexiglas® shields around the checkout counters; placed markers on the floor to note 6-foot distance; limited the number of people permitted in a store at one time; made hand sanitizer readily available; set up tables outside the storefront to limit foot traffic inside the store; and some owners even offered free contactless delivery in their communities.
FBR cited the home repair services and specialty retail sectors as two of the most recession-proof for prospective franchisees to consider as the economy recovers. As people continue to spend more time at home, they are more likely to take on DIY projects or hire local contractors to make their homes and backyards as comfortable as possible.
Additionally, many people found comfort in hobbies and other home-based activities. That focus on the home aligns perfectly with Pinch A Penny’s business model. Whether someone wants to maintain their pool themselves or relax while a certified technician does the heavy lifting, there is plenty of opportunity for Pinch A Penny franchises as the country rebounds.
As the brand continues to expand its footprint throughout the Southeast and in fast-growing states like Texas, where both residential development and pool construction are on the rise, the demand for Pinch A Penny services and products is expected to grow, also.