As part of an ongoing, aggressive growth strategy, the industry’s largest retailer has added a commercial pool supply and service firm to its portfolio.
Leslie’s Poolmart this month finalized the acquisition of
Jasper’s Clear Pool Wholesale Supply Co. The Phoenix-based
business is a provider of pool chemicals and equipment, as well as
offering installation and repair services to hotels, apartment
buildings, schools and other public facilities throughout the
region. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“We’re always very selective with these
opportunities,” said Steven Ortega, executive vice
president/CFO of Leslie’s, also headquartered in Phoenix.
“But when you find operators like [Jasper’s] with a
proven track record and strong customer service, those become
attractive to us.”
Leslie’s strategy of consistent growth received a boost last
summer when private equity firm CVC Capital Partners purchased an
undisclosed number of minority shares in the company. Currently,
Leslie’s has 688 retail stores and service centers in 35
The firm opened 30 new retail locations in 2010 and is planning to
add nearly 50 stores in 2011.
To date, the commercial market represents just a fraction of its
overall sales — no more than 2 percent, company officials
However, this latest acquisition could mark a significant growth
area for the future, in Arizona and beyond.
“[Leslie’s] is king of the backyard pool,” said
Fred Burkhardt, owner of Jasper’s. “For expansion,
they’re going to look at the commercial world. And
we’re the aftermarket for commercial.”
In fact, Burkhardt placed his company’s market share in the
realm of 75 percent.
It’s estimated there are 9,500 commercial pools in Maricopa
County, which includes Phoenix metro.
Jasper’s has 21 employees and also offers training for
commercial pool operators, including compliance with various health
codes and regulations. The staff will continue with Leslie’s,
Currently, Jasper’s occupies a primary facility in Phoenix
and another in Tucson, but eventually operations will be
consolidated under one roof. Burkhardt plans to help Jasper
transition to the new ownership and then retire from the industry,