Pool and spa franchise group Swimart has appointed Rick Graham as executive officer.
This comes less than a year after appointing franchise development manager Alex Johnson and marketing manager Nathan Hallahan.
Graham’s impressive resume boasts previous roles as managing director of Gloria Jeans, head of retail for Optus and national sales director of OPSM.
He says his new position marks a change in charter, seeing the company take on a more strategic approach in a dynamic retail landscape dominated by technological disruption.
“When I met with the Swimart team and we discussed a growth agenda, the idea of increasing our current performance alongside the company’s reach and distribution was very appealing to me,” he says.
Graham believes that great companies which have a growth agenda “invest in their brand and invest in their people to make it even bigger and stronger”.
“Swimart has built a great foundation built on knowledge, expertise and trust and there is more we can do to better engage with our customers and extend our reach into new markets,” he says. “For me, it’s now a matter of charting out what that looks like over the next few years.”
Longevity and recognition
Graham is impressed by Swimart’s success in keeping long-standing franchisees such as Bob Tully, Reg Blue and Murray Lonie, who have been with the franchise for up to and over 30 years.
“That is very rare, especially for a franchise model,” he says. “Many last five to 10 years but very few go well beyond that. It certainly is a strength of the brand in terms of knowledge, tenure and expertise. You only stay in a long-term franchise relationship if it has served you well.”
He says that stopping to smell the roses, so to speak, is also crucial to the longevity of a brand that operates in a retail landscape increasingly disrupted by technological advancements.
“Not enough companies stop to acknowledge their successes or achievements,” he says. “Building a strong sales culture underpinned by rewards and recognition is very important to a company’s long-term growth and success.”
Swimart is owned by Waterco, and has 74 franchise outlets across Australia and New Zealand, and a fleet of more than 250 mobile service vans.