News of the shortage on chlorine tablets has hit the mass media and prices have sky rocketed around the nation. A recent spate of price increase notices from some of the top distributors comes on the tail end of a particularly rough start to this years pool season.
Many pool companies are struggling to find essential supplies to build, repair and maintain swimming pools. Positive news like the rebuilding of the BioLab plant came too late to salvage this years shortage on dry chlorine products.
As the chlorine crunch continues, the shortage has begun to impact availability of a variety of essential chemicals including muriatic acid, according to Orenda Technologies.
Online Scams For Chlorine Tabs Growing in Frequency
As legitimate suppliers run out of inventory, consumers are turning to Amazon, Ebay, and a variety of online stores to try and purchase tablets. Unfortunately, a rash of online scams have popped up to capitalize on the pool supply shortages and, as a result, consumers have been getting ripped off with alarming regularity.
Trying to order chlorine tablets on Amazon produced an immediate search result where the top sponsored listings I saw are obvious scammers. The growing number of these scams is concerning. This type of activity represents a serious problem for the pool industry as well as consumers.
One consumer was none to pleased with her online purchase of chlorine tablets, believing she had purchased a 25 pound bucket of tablets based on the exorbitant price. Instead, she says she received her Amazon order which consisted of a small container of aspirin sized chlorine tablets.
Consumers need to be aware of what they are purchasing before they buy from any online retailer, particularly on non-pool supply websites. Online retail marketplaces like Amazon and Walmart carry pool chemicals but are notoriously slow to react to online scams. Some pool scammers operate multiple accounts at a time under a variety of different brands and it can be difficult for consumers to make a distinction on whether they are legitimate or not.
Needless to say, as the chlorine shortage continues, it’s more important than ever to not only fully vette your pool builder and pool service company, but your chemical supplier as well. Although distributors may be in short supply, purchasing from a reputatable and recognized pool supplier is always the best option.
BioLab Begins Rebuilding Plant
BioLab hopes to have their plant rebuilt by early 2022
Welcome news for the pool industry, BioLab’s Lake Charles, La. plant is currently being rebuilt almost a year after it was damaged by a terrible fire.
At a ceremony attended by Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and work crews broke ground on the facility in late June.
A fire caused by Hurricane Laura rendered the plant completely inoperable in August of 2020. The BioLab factory was brought to the forefront of the national eye, as it quickly became apparent that the plant was a key source of the stabilized chlorine product trichlor. Experts quickly realized that its closure would greatly contribute to a considerable sanitizer shortage during the unprecedented COVID demand.
Officials from BioLab/KIK stated the company intends to make renovations to the site to optimize their investment.
“The $170-million investment that KIK is going to deliver on will improve and make this facility more efficient and flexible,” said KIK CFO Stephen Jackson. “It will be a state-of-the-art plant that will significantly increase our capacity.”
The plant is expected to reopen in early 2022, according to the manufacturer. “The shortage resulting from the shut-down of tour facility is impacting pool retailers and pool owners across the country and they are eagerly awaiting our plant to be operational and to fill the gap,” said BioLab President Jon Viner.
This news bodes well for the pool industry who have been beleagured with shortages this pool season and have faced rising prices from distributors. The reopening of the BioLab plant should move distribution channels towards equalizing prices on dry chlorine goods in time for the summer 2022 pool season.
Featured Image Credit: KLAX ABC News
PoolCorp Acquires Vak Pak Builders Supply
PoolCorp recently completed the aquisition of Vak Pak Builders Supply, a well known Jacksonville based distributor in Florida. Vak Pak is a distributor of pool equipment and supplies throughout north Florida and Georgia.
“The combination of Vak Pak Builders Supply’s contractor-focused customer base and PoolCorp’s product breadth and resources will provide regional pool building and service contractors expanded opportunities in a highly competitive market,” said David Sutherland, principal of Vak Pak, which was founded in 1973.
This latest acquisition comes after a major announcement back in April that PoolCorp would be acquiring Nashville-based Pool Source, LLC. That particular firm operates a large sales and distribution center in Nashville which serves Tennessee and southern Kentucky.
Pinch a Penny Propels Texas Growth
Pinch A Penny Pool Patio Spa Propels Texas Growth With The Opening Of Its 14th Houston Area
CLEARWATER, Fla., April 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Pinch A Penny Pool Patio Spa, the nation’s largest swimming pool retail, service, and repair franchise, announced today the opening of its newest franchised location in Conroe, Texas. Located at 4489 W. Davis St., Suite 220, the new store marks the brand’s 14th location in the greater Houston area and 19th overall in the state. On the heels of the Conroe opening, the swimming pool franchise leader will further expand its Texas footprint with two additional stores planned for the Houston and Dallas areas, both slated to open this summer.
The Conroe Pinch A Penny is owned and operated by first-time franchisee Kevin Glass. Prior to joining Pinch A Penny, Glass held a longstanding career in Houston’s oil and gas industry, spending over 35 years as an engineer and compilation manager. With the energy landscape becoming increasingly turbulent and retirement on Glass’ horizon, he began looking into business ownership as a way to take control of his and his family’s future.
After discovering what Pinch A Penny had to offer, he was immediately blown away by the brand’s top-notch leadership, customer-centric values and unparalleled support. Additionally, with Houston ranking #3 for most pool-dense markets in the country, he and his wife, Debbie, were interested in entering a booming business niche in their own backyard. “The oil and gas industry has always been volatile, so the idea of finding something more stable that would allow me to take control of my own destiny really stood out to me. When I found the Pinch A Penny franchise opportunity, I knew I had found the best option for me,” said Kevin Glass, owner of Pinch A Penny, Conroe.
“Pinch A Penny is a well-established legacy brand with a proven track record of sustainable success fueled by multiple revenue streams, exceptional training and a resilient business model that has withstood numerous economic disruptions, including the pandemic. That, coupled with Houston’s pool market being on the rise, we’ve already seen immense success just from offering the service portion of our business before even opening our retail store.”
Since entering Texas in 2016, Pinch A Penny has continually targeted key markets throughout the state for new store development, including the greater Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth areas. As pool sales and construction surged amid the pandemic, the future demand for pool supplies and services in Texas is unprecedented, leading Pinch A Penny to pre-build new stores in the North Richland Hills and Flower Mound neighborhoods of Dallas. Looking ahead, the company will continue its statewide development with two new locations opening in The Woodlands and Lake Arlington later this year.
“We have consistently seen a huge demand for quality retail pool supply and service operators in Texas, and Kevin Glass’ early success is proof of that with him already deploying a second service truck before even opening the retail portion of his business,” said Michael Arrowsmith, Chief Development Officer of Pinch A Penny. “At Pinch A Penny, we’re honored to join with hard-working franchisees like Kevin who are looking to take the next step in their careers and build a legacy alongside us. As we continue our development across Texas, we plan to build upon the momentum we’ve achieved so far thanks to our dedicated franchisees and look forward to servicing the tremendous pool growth to come.”
Pinch A Penny Pool Patio Spa of Conroe will serve customers Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information on the new Conroe store, call 936-701-0926 or visit https://pinchapenny.com/stores/conroe-tx-259.
With 260 locations across the Southeastern U.S. and Texas, Pinch A Penny Pool Patio Spa has developed a reputation for delivering best-in-class customer service and expertise while offering the highest quality in products and supplies. Pinch A Penny Pool Patio Spa offers customers a one-stop-shop for all of their pool and spa supply needs with one of the most complete lines of pool chemicals, maintenance equipment, as well as parts and accessories available anywhere. In addition to retail, Pinch A Penny offers maintenance and repair services, like water testing and pool cleanings, and its franchisees have the option to offer an array of backyard services, such as pool renovations, leak detection, power washing, landscape lighting and more.
Pinch A Penny is currently seeking qualified candidates to join its growing brand, including existing pool store operators looking to take their businesses to the next level. The company currently has franchise opportunities available in markets throughout Texas and the Southeastern U.S., including Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi. For more information about franchising opportunities with Pinch A Penny Pool Patio Spa, visit www.pinchapennypoolfranchise.com or call 844-740-5139.
About Pinch A Penny Pool Patio Spa
Founded in 1975, Pinch A Penny Pool Patio Spa has grown from one store to 260 locations across the Southeastern U.S. and Texas. Priding itself on its superior customer service and expertise, the brand has been included in top industry rankings, such as the 2021 Entrepreneur Franchise 500, Franchise Business Review Top 200, Franchise Gator Top 100 and Franchise Times Top 200+, as well as Franchise Business Review’s Top Franchises for Women and Top Franchises for Veterans. Additionally, Pinch A Penny was selected as the silver winner for Franchise Update’s prestigious STAR Award for Franchisee Satisfaction and named one of the Top 50 Recession-Proof Franchises by Franchise Business Review. Taking a family approach to business, Pinch A Penny provides its customers, franchisees and employees with all the necessary resources to carry on its tradition of quality, reliability and expertise in a fun, family-oriented atmosphere. For more information, visit www.PinchAPenny.com.
SOURCE Pinch A Penny Pool Patio Spa
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