Nanette Zakian
Nanette Zakian

“If I knew then what I know now, I would have …” I’m always fascinated by how people finish that sentence. You never know if their comments will be funny, heart-warming or serious. When this new blog launched, I asked a couple of company leaders to complete that sentence. Now it’s time to hear from the second individual.

Nanette Zakian, president of Hachik Distributors Inc. in Aston, Pa., was up for the challenge. She decided to tackle a topic on the minds of many industry professionals these days: e-commerce.

“If I knew then what I know now, I would have created our Internet protected brands much sooner,” Zakian says. “SunGuard pool and spa products, AquaGuard equipment, SplashPro maintenance products and Solara Spas -- these brands were specifically created for the pool and spa professional and are protected from the Internet, and give control back to the retailer to maintain reasonable margins.

“For the past 20 years, the Internet has slowly destroyed the margins for our retailers on the industry's top brands, whether it be chemicals, filters, pumps or cleaners, just to name a few of the product categories that have been attacked. The major chemical and equipment manufacturers’ products now are promoted and actively sold on the Internet, primarily through e-tailers, Amazon, etc.

“When we first launched SunGuard pool and spa chemicals 10 years ago, we concentrated on the quality of what was in the container as well as how the packaging would look to the consumer. Marketing materials were created to support the professional retailer [and] our SunGuard dealers have enjoyed tremendous success. Over the years, we have included solar covers, winter covers and, this year, we introduced SunGuard safety covers, always with quality in mind. Two years ago, we created our AquaGuard line of pool equipment … all designed with an emphasis on quality and marketing through the pool and spa professional. SplashPro Maintenance Products was new last season, and growing with the SKU offers.”

Stay tuned – next time we’ll hear from someone else on a different topic.