A national mega swimming pool builder has expanded its brick and mortar retail operations to the virtual world.

Anthony & Sylvan announced the official grand opening of an online retail store May 11 after nearly two years of planning, testing and working out the kinks, say officials.

This news comes on the heels of an expansion into the San Antonio market earlier this year when the builder took over Anderson Pools and Patios in Bulverde, Texas.

With this new venture, the Mayfield Village, Ohio-based company joins the ranks of other dominant builders,Blue Haven Pools & Spas and Paddock Pools, both of which sell swimming pool supplies on their Websites.

“We are really enthused about it,” said the firm’s CEO Stuart Neidus. “This is all about being able to deliver the full range of services to our customers, so if someone buys a pool from us we will be there for them if they decide to modernize it or if they need supplies. We want them to have a marvelous experience as they use the pool throughout its life cycle.”

The site, which had a soft launch in May 2011 with very limited functionality and went through various stages of development since then, will be operated by the builder’s retail team in conjunction with 11 east coast brick-and-mortar storefronts. Purchases will be shipped from distribution centers.

The online store features thousands of products in a number of categories, including pool and spa parts, toys, lighting, maintenance equipment, accessories, and chemical feeders. In addition, customers can purchase gift cards, schedule maintenance and receive information about special offers and discounts. Pricing will be competitive, Neidus said.

One of the site’s primary features is the diagrams of the major swimming pool components. When looking for a pool part, for example, a shopper can scroll through multiple categories, select a part, and choose a specific type or manufacturer. Then the customer can view a labeled diagram of the part with a key chart and corresponding model number.

“I’ve purchased items on the Internet, and I know it can be challenging to get it right the first time,” Neidus said. There’s nothing more frustrating than ordering the wrong thing. With this you can hold the part [you need to replace] in your hand and look at it online and that’s important to our customers.”

Founded in 1946, Anthony & Sylvan has reportedly built more than 370,000 pools. It operates 17 construction offices throughout the US, serving markets in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.