Executive at Carecraft Inc
- North America pool supplies industry trends and competitive dynamics
- Demand and sales expectations across product categories, including electric cleaners and potential chlorine supply shortage implications
- New construction trends amid supply chain and rising input cost pressures
- Consolidation and mid-to-long-term outlook, including threat from Amazon
What is your 12-18-month outlook for the pool supplies industry?
Do you think any degree of coronavirus-related pull-forward is likely to result in softer demand for either installation of new pools and spas or consumption of pool and spa supplies?
How has demand for products and services changed vs pre-pandemic, especially noting your comment about the freeze in Texas? Did any secular trends cause disruption?
What are the fastest-growing product categories today and what are your near-term growth estimates for the next few years?
What penetration levels do you estimate for electric pool cleaners?
How might the adoption curve for electric cleaners develop?
How would you quantify the growth prospects for electric cleaners? Will pool owners continue adopting these tools vs hiring a human pool cleaner despite temporary labour shortages?
What are your thoughts on the competitive landscape, particularly players such as Fluidra or Maytronics and its Dolphin range?
To what degree is connected technology a driver for pool equipment upgrades?
What are your expectations for retailers’ salt availability, pricing and margins given it is the second item you named as fastest-growing? I understand a North Carolina fertiliser plant that previously shut down due to fires is now coming back online.
How are big-box retailers getting more price-competitive and what’s the respective risk?
Why would Leslie’s be much more price-competitive to take the 50% wallet share of the customer base it doesn’t have, or assuming the 85% of the residential aftermarket it doesn’t have, especially given retailers’ uniquely healthy margins?
How confident are you in Leslie’s outlook? How relatively well- or poorly positioned is the company?
How are dealers and retailers responding to the trichlor chlorine tablet shortages? Are there any noticeable shifts in consumer preferences?
How is demand for new pool developing, especially given your earlier remarks about the market boom and shifts following some of the Texas demand?
What is happening with new home construction attach rates as a proxy for new pool development?
Do you have any other insights on regional demand beyond California which you’re most familiar with? Are there broad trends to highlight across the Sun Belt vs the northeast or elsewhere ?
What are potential risk or headwinds to pool demand, especially considering construction price inflation? Are there any signs to suggest consumers no longer want a pool?
Do higher interest rates tend to impact new pool development? If consumers are borrowing to fund a new pool or existing upgrades, at what point would interest rates cool demand?
You noted a slight gap for supply to catch up to demand, but how long might it take to fulfil if demand holds up despite inflation?
Where do most of the pool-required supplies come from? What are suppliers exposed to?
What’s your sense of inventory in the channel?
Have distributors of pumps and other equipment been pulling forward their buying to get ahead of any price increases?
What is the relative health of the M&A market?
What are your thoughts on Pool Corp’s Pinch A Penny acquisition? How could it change the competitive landscape?
What’s your outlook for Pool Corp's competitors and their M&A strategies?
How credible is Amazon’s threat to pool supplies retailers? What steps would indicate that suppliers are doing all they can to mitigate the risk of market share erosion from a player such as Amazon?
What retailer advantages could be a significant mitigator of risk vs Amazon? Obviously, there’s the bricks-and-mortar component, but is that enough of an advantage?
What might be the industry’s greatest challenges, opportunities and risks over the next year and 3-5 years?
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