Twenty-five retailers will have the opportunity to learn how to fine-tune their businesses during the upcoming Carecraft Meeting on Feb. 24-28, 2014, in Los Angeles.
For the first time, Genesis 3 will offer a class specifically designed to help the retail side of the business, in addition to the group’s traditional focus on pool construction and design.
“We want to bring the same Genesis level of performance to the retail side,” said Brian Van Bower, co-founder of the Mursfreesboro, Tenn.-based educational organization.
Much of the premise of the retail class will apply to general business practices such as markup and presentation. However, the new course also allows the instructors to discuss topics specific to a retail setting, such as layout, color scheme, lighting and store environment.
“We originally thought about making the class only about modern store design,” said Greg Howard, CEO of Carecraft, a buying group based in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. “Then we backed up and said, “Let’s do more than that.”
Though the backbone of the 16-hour class focuses on aesthetics, there will be discussions on traffic flow, big-box stores, repair pricing structure, marketing and advertising, customer service, and expanding the business using technology.
“We want them to take a big, hard gulp and think about how much they should invest in reinventing their business,” Howard said.
Pool retailers are at an advantage, he added, because many areas have an off season, which creates the perfect time to completely overhaul the look of their stores or do a small refresh as needed.
“You see other industries where they’re constantly reinventing themselves because of competition,” Howard said. “Our industry is not one that does that.”
Part of the class also will be devoted to talking about complementary off-season products such as a hearth business, outdoor kitchens and billiard tables.
While the initial course will be at the upcoming Carecraft meeting, Genesis 3 intends to offer it at trade shows and other gatherings.
“We are just rolling them out at Carecraft,” Van Bower said.
Steve Carlyle, president of Carlyle Business Development Services and co-founder of Xmente Swimming Pool Retail Academy, signed on as an instructor for the course and said he thinks the educational opportunity is significant because of the pressure brick-and-mortar retail stores are facing from the Internet retailers.
“I believe that the pressure continues to mount on professional retailers,” he said, noting that the industry needs to do anything it can to support them.
Former BioLab executives Larry Bloom, Tresa Kenny and Carlyle founded the academy in 2011. It offers online training to address the business challenges faced by specialty pool retailers. “Stores do a lot more than they used to,” Howard said. “They used to be a vending machine for chemicals. That’s not the case today.”