Poolwerx Enters Texas, Gains First Out-of-Industry Franchisee

Franchisor Poolwerx has two more firsts to check off its to-do list for growing in the US market.

The Brisbane, Australia-based retail/service firm has entered Texas with its first franchisee there. In addition, Poolwerx has signed its first agreement with an individual from outside the industry.

The father-daughter team of Ken and Ashley OBlock has taken a territory in the Houston suburb of Cypress. A former corporate executive, Ken OBlock opened Budget Pool Services approximately three years ago and developed a client list of more than 100. That operation now bears the Poolwerx moniker, and plans are underway for him to open a retail outlet in May.

The OBlocks also purchased a territory in nearby Katy, Texas, which is expected to open next summer.

“Our plans were always to be strong in the Sunbelt, and Texas is a key part of that,” said Poolwerx CEO John O’Brien.

Late last year, O’Brien had named the Lone Star State as his next target. The company plans to expand there relatively quickly, as it courts prospective franchisees in Dallas, Austin and San Antonio. O’Brien expects to have franchisees signed and opened before Christmas this year.

When Poolwerx announced its aggressive growth strategy upon entering the U.S. market in spring 2015, the company had planned to achieve its goals by converting independent pool companies into franchisees, and by signing with individuals from outside the industry. The firm has entered into an agreement with its first industry outsider, bringing another franchisee to the Phoenix area.

Steve Follmer, for 30 years a Discount Tires store manager, has purchased Poolwerx territories in two Phoenix suburbs – one an existing store in Chandler, the other a yet-to-be-opened location in Mesa.

This brings the franchisor’s Arizona store count to 15, with approximately 20 service trucks supporting them.

To continue the momentum in bringing new people from outside the industry, Poolwerx will begin showing at franchise conventions, after having displayed solely at pool-related trade shows up to this point.

“This probably has come along a little bit earlier than we thought it would,” O’Brien said. “But I think it is pretty exciting for us and the pool industry to know that we can bring executives from Middle America, from good corporate roles … to see our industry as a great opportunity for them to flex their entrepreneurial muscle. So we’re bringing new blood, new talent into our industry.”

In working with American franchisees, Poolwerx has begun adopting a more phased-in method of conversion, whereby a company takes three to six months to completely change over to the Poolwerx brand. “With the bigger businesses, we’ve found that a staged program… can create less disruption,” O’Brien said.

The franchisor, which set a goal of opening 300 stores across the Sunbelt in five years, now has 18 stores across four states, including California and Florida.

“The target for 2016 … is to say we’ve got 50 stores and 100 trucks,” O’Brien said. “We’re well on target for that. I think we definitely will have a rush in the fall.”

PICTURE: Ken OBlock (left) and Ashley OBlock (right) pictured with Lee Moore, chief operating officer and general manager of Poolwerx Australia, after receiving training at the company’s Brisbane headquarters

Originally published by, Rebecca Robledo at Pool & Spa News (poolspanews.com), on March 23, 2016

Blog Categories

Recent Posts

Poolwerx Franchise Partner Selected as Pool Pro Magazine Panelist   We are proud to announce that Frank Disher, Franchise Partner and owner of Poolwerx North Richland Hills, has been selected as a 2021 pro panelist for Pool Pro Magazine! Pool Pro Magazine is a leading pool industry publication serving the hundreds of thousands of professionals in the swimming pool and spa industry in the U.S. and abroad. This panel was created by Pool Pro Magazine with the aim to share the opinions and expertise of knowledgeable professionals in the industry from around the U.S. Each edition of the magazine poses questions to the members of this group. Frank is known to be a leader at not just at Poolwerx, but around the industry as well. He is very opinionated and vocal in calling for higher standards in education, ethics, and professionalism for pros in the swimming pool and spa industry. In 2019, Frank and his incredible staff at Poolwerx North Richland Hills were awarded the Poolwerx Franchise of the Year award, which Poolwerx grants one U.S. location each year that demonstrates excellent performance among their peers. Click here to read more at Pool Pro Magazine
Poolwerx growing internationally, opening 11 stores in 11 months Poolwerx USA would like to congratulate our Australian counterparts on opening one new international store for every month this year! Poolwerx is continuing to grow even in these difficult economic times, both in the U.S. and abroad. Franchise Business Executive reports, "Poolwerx opens 11 stores in 11 months, with conversions and new outlets in the mix. The openings are evidence, says founder and CEO John O’Brien, of the demand for home services. The pool care chain has acquired five independent pool servicing stores across Australia and New Zealand-- in Baulkham Hills in New South Wales, Kings Park and Hampstead Gardens South Australia and another two due to open on New Zealand’s North Island. John O’Brien said “In all of these acquisitions, we’re helping long term industry veterans with their exit strategy. I’m also buoyed to see our existing franchise partners continue to grow their business and open new retail locations, which speaks to the resilience of our business model, even in the midst of a recession. “The home service industry has proven time and time again to be recession-resistant and this has become particularly evident during Covid-19,” O’Brien said. Click here to read more at Franchise Business Executive
Four Poolwerx locations win Top Service Award Four Poolwerx locations have had the honor of receiving the Pool and Spa News and Jandy Service Award for 2020! Poolwerx Forest Lane in Texas, Poolwerx Union Hills in Arizona, Poolwerx Redlands in California, and Poolwerx Beaches in Florida were among the 50 winners of this prestigious award. This top service award is Pool and Spa News and Jandy's annual recognition of the top 50 service-only firms and service operations attached to builders and retail firms. The judging criteria for this award includes revenue, staff management, web presence, industry participation and community participation. According to a survey of this group, whose results are found on the following pages, these companies didn't miss a step this year, despite the unprecedented times. Thank you to Jandy for its sponsorship, and congratulations to our Poolwerx Franchise Partners for their excellent performance! Click here to read more at Pool & Spa News
If you're in TX/OK and need help with the freeze, we'll get to you ASAP if you submit a request HERE.