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Episode 151: How Leslie’s is Committing to Trade Professionals Through their Pro Partner Program

Pool Chasers Podcast

Release Date: 05/03/2021

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Episode Summary: 

Leslie’s was founded in March 1963 as a one-man pool supply operation working out of a backyard shed in North Hollywood, California. 54 years later, the company had grown to become “The World’s Largest Retailer of Swimming Pool Supplies”. 

We speak with Leslie’s Brian Agnew and Chad Christensen. Brian has been with the company for almost two decades and currently serves as Senior Vice President of Commercial and Wholesale. Chad joined Leslie’s in late 2016 and today is the company’s Group Vice President of Commercial Sales and Operations. 

Listen in as Brian and Chad discuss what Leslie’s has learned from its acquisitions of NPS and Warehouse Pool Supplies and how they are committing to the pool trade professional through various new initiatives, including a push for more wholesale partners and its new enhanced PRO Partner Program. 

Topics Discussed: 

  • 01:06 - An introduction to Brian Agnew and Chad Christensen 
  • 04:45 - Chad’s ASU quarterback days 
  • 09:47 - How Leslie’s got started 
  • 15:42 - Everybody plays a role in order on a successful team 
  • 17:44 - Leslie’s emphasis on customer experience 
  • 20:23 - Leslie’s has not aggressively gone after wholesale customers 
  • 29:42 - How Leslie ensures that customers have great experiences  
  • 34:25 - Respect and trust are earned through action 
  • 39:05 - What pool professionals can expect from shopping at Leslie’s  
  • 41:01 - Leslie’s priority service, rebate program, and ext warranty 
  • 42:34 - Drop off your cleaners and dry end of the pump 
  • 47:35 - Leslie’s new enhanced PRO Partner Program 
  • 56:23 - Skimmer and SPPA benefits 
 
 

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Key Quotes from Episode: 

  • There are so many companies that started in somebody’s garage. They started with a vision and a work ethic that helped them accomplish something great. With the way that Leslie’s has continued to grow, it’s helped change the industry in terms of being that neighborhood pool store. ~Chad 
  • Everybody plays a role in providing the customer the best experience they possibly can. ~Chad 
  • One of the things I would mention too that as well is that from a company perspective, you know, companies are always evolving, and if you're not evolving, if you're not growing and expanding what you're doing, chances are you're going to get bypassed by somebody else. ~Chad
  • If we can take care of that pool trade professional through the services that we offer and the partnerships with our store teams, we know, in turn, they’re going to take care of the stores and that’s just a great partnership. Where everybody wins in the relationship, that’s a great partnership. ~Brian
  • Since day one of Leslie's opening in 1963, we've had great relationships with pool trade partners. We've not had a structured wholesale program in place, though, and that's really what we're in the process of doing. ~Brian
  • You earn respect through action. You earn respect through the commitment and the effort that you put into whatever endeavor you’re trying to do. ~Chad