Well, 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.