Selling swimming pools during a recession

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Thierry MARTIN


Seminar Business life | Friday July 2, 2010 - 9h30 - 12h

When he left volume retailing to manage the family farm, Thierry Martin worked in the installation of swimming pools, firstly as a subcontractor in 2004, and then as manager of his own business in 2006. He has already installed a total of 450 swimming pools. He has eight employees and his turnover (1.2 million Euros) was stable between 2008 and 2009, whereas the sector as a whole experienced a 30 % fall in activity because of the economic crisis. When he set up his company in the same industrial estate where three of his competitors were already located, they suggested an agreement on prices in order to share out clients between them. Thierry Martin refused because he wanted the market for himself. Today, seven of his eight competitors have filed for bankruptcy or are about to do so. The company spends virtually no money on advertising and Martin's best salespeople are in fact his customers: for every swimming pool installed, there is more than one new swimming pool on order. Thierry Martin reveals some of his methods which have given him such a successful business.

The entire article was written by:

Jeanne MARTY

This session was published in issue n°87 of the Journal de l'École de Paris du management, entitled Le sérieux des idées folles.

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