Wilbar International continues to aggressively build its portfolio in the aboveground pool market.
After purchasing Canadian manufacturer Vogue in September 2008,
Wilbar has acquired some of the assets of Delair Group following
that company’s decision to discontinue its line of
aboveground pools in October 2009. Delair was regarded by many in
the industry as making a higher-end product.
The assets, which include supplies and equipment, will be used
to launch a new brand called Premier Aluminum Pools.
“There’s a nice niche in the aboveground market for
aluminum pools, especially extruded aluminum pools,” said
Gerry Herson, director of strategic development for the Hauppauge,
N.Y.-based firm. “Wilbar has always participated in [the
category], but not to the extent Delair had, so this gave us the
opportunity to expand our aluminum line.”
The acquisition allows Wilbar to offer a full line of aluminum
models in addition to its steel and resin products, he added. The
equipment from Delair also will increase Wilbar’s production
capabilities by 30 percent, particularly on aluminum pools, decks
The purchase did not include rights to the Esther Williams or
Johnny Weissmuller brands, two long-tenured names in the pool
“[The products are] known within the industry, but not
outside of it,” Herson said. “I don’t know that
there’s a lot of brand recognition by the consumer regarding
aboveground pools at this point.”
Wilbar will assume the warranties of all Delair pools, building
goodwill with dealers who previously sold the two brands.
“We plan on providing aluminum pools to most of the same
customers, so we want to make sure they’re covered on their
old inventory,” Herson said.
While the aboveground market has been hurt by the economy and
lack of consumer credit, Herson is optimistic.
“We’d like to put the brakes on this skid in the
pool industry,” he said. “Aside from market-share
growth, we hope the aboveground sector will be up around 10 percent
In addition to Vogue, Wilbar has acquired Aqua
Leader, Artesian and Atlantic
Pools in the aboveground sector. The firm also owns Sharkline and
Backyard Leisure Aboveground Pools.