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Viking Pools Swallows Up Royal Fiberglass Pools With Another Acquisition


RoyalFiberglass PoolsWell, it appears every 6 months I'm going to be writing an article about how Viking Pools has decided to purchase another fiberglass pool manufacturer, with Royal Fiberglass Pools being the next small company to hand over its keys to the industry giant.

Over the past 2 years, Viking Pools has also purchased Blue Hawaiian Pools and Trilogy Pools, which, considering they already own Composite Pool Corporation and Crystal Palace Pools, the list is starting to get pretty long.

To be completely frank, I'm rather confused by Viking's latest purchase. A leading competitor of Viking compared the acquisition to "an 800 lb gorilla gaining 20lbs", and to be honest, I'd agree.

As someone who writes and teaches about business, branding, and marketing daily on my other site, this move continues to be a head-scratcher in a line of "interesting" decisions by Viking Pools over the last few years.

Whether or not the purchase will help the Viking brand in the future only time will tell, but at some point I'd like to see Viking spend as much money educating consumers about the value of fiberglass pools as they do buying up the "little guys" of the industry.

With fiberglass pools making up less than 10% of the marketshare (for inground swimming pools) here in the United States, manufacturers would be smart to turn their efforts towards informing the public of the pros of fiberglass swimming pools, just as Australia has done, where fiberglass accounts for over 50% of the marketplace.

By so doing, there would be way more than enough to go around for everyone. In fact, if the market just reached 20% in the US these manufacturers wouldn't be able to come close to keeping up with the demand.

But alas, I'm just a pool guy in Virginia. ;-)

Time will tell folks, time will tell.

Marcus Sheridan

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Enjoy your articles but have another question, need advise on how to repair a cantilever deck on a fibergass pool, underside of overhang is falling into pool, constant mess, pool contractor has repair several times only to fail again, jaggered edges now cause cuts, help. mr
Posted @ Monday, July 02, 2012 2:38 PM by Max Richard
Wow! That's the company I was asking you about today! How will this affect us if we purchase a Royal Pool now? 
Posted @ Monday, July 02, 2012 3:40 PM by Karen
It definitely sounds like your doing something right. keep up the good work.
Posted @ Tuesday, July 03, 2012 8:10 AM by chad
I'd suggest calling Royal and Viking to get your answer Karen, just make sure you get the warranty in writing and read it thoroughly before you make any decisions.
Posted @ Tuesday, July 03, 2012 10:57 AM by Marcus Sheridan
Marcus, settled on the Trilogy Cassini with a semi-circle tanning ledge! Super excited. Thanks so much for all of your suggestions, and this blog. It's awesome.
Posted @ Tuesday, July 03, 2012 11:01 AM by Karen
I never realized the difference of the market share between here and Australia was so great. Why is that? Is it an education over time thing?
Posted @ Friday, July 06, 2012 9:46 AM by Addie
A few factors Addie, but honestly, I think their swimming pool market just happens to be more forward thinking in many ways. They've also been using salt systems there wayyyyy longer than we have in the US.
Posted @ Friday, July 06, 2012 9:54 AM by Marcus Sheridan
It's no suprise to see smaller companies being bought out by someone trying to corner the market. 
It will be interesting if Leisure Pools sell out. 
Somehow I don't think so!
Posted @ Tuesday, July 10, 2012 4:24 AM by Grant
I was in San Antonio last week and the Leisure plant had more than a 100 Oil Field tanks on the lot and only a few pool shells, with just one truck load of 10 shells ready to ship. The oil boom in South and West Texas is adding jobs at a high rate.
Posted @ Tuesday, September 11, 2012 11:37 AM by Jim
I had a Royal fiberglass pool installed in August.It is 2 1/2 inches out of level.The contractor says its the pool shell(he had an engineer take measurments) and Royal Fiberglass says its the install.Whats my next step(an attorney)
Posted @ Wednesday, November 14, 2012 10:27 AM by Gordon Marsh
Sorry you're having this problem Gordon, but yes, the legal route is likely your next step if you can't seem to get anything more than the "run around." 
Good luck to you sir, 
Posted @ Sunday, November 18, 2012 10:56 PM by Marcus Sheridan
The acquisition boggles my mind too. I have been building pools now here on the Mississippi coast for well over 10 years now. We were blessed with constant growth until our peak in 2007, building over 125 inground pools, not to mention great retail sales, above ground pools, etc.  
I picked up San Juan pools back in 2003 and quickly became dealer of the year. Over the next couple of years, we had tremendous growth in our fiberglass department over the next couple of years just to find that San Juan pools put a new dealer less that 20 miles from me. After numerous attempts to address the situation, and getting the run around, I picked up a new line from Sun Pools. San Juan pools really sucked anyways, having numerous cracks, etc. in their shells. Eventually I became a full Sun Pools dealer, but was looking to pick up Viking Pools as my line leader. I did eventually pick Viking Pools up and I have been a Viking/Sun Pools dealer for over 8 years now.  
Here is my problem....I DO NOT TRUST Viking. They only buy these companies to have market control. They think that if they own Viking, CPC, Royal, etc., they can stack dealers in compact areas. So the Viking guy can do 10, the Royal guy can do 10, the Liberty guy doing 15, etc. Instead of one Viking dealer doing 20, They have 50 pools coming out of one area thru multiple outlets. This sounds great for them(as a business major, I think the overall market is too small to support this monopolistic style), but for a small dealer as myself, it sucks. The Blue Hawaiian, Liberty, etc., dealers all say they are selling Viking pools. In a way, they are.  
I am so frustrated at the way things are going with them. Sun Pools is offering more colors and SOME new shapes, so I am pushing their product now. Not to mention that the Sun folks are really nice people.  
I mentioned earlier my peak season numbers. Last year we built 30 pools. They were nicer pools, but still 30 pools. I would like to get up to 50 and stay there if the market will ever come back.  
Your thoughts?? 
Thanks and nice blog.
Posted @ Wednesday, December 05, 2012 10:06 AM by Joel
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