Clark Rubber: Case Study

Clark Rubber is a successful Australian retailer with a history dating back to 1946. With 60 stores nationally, the stores are specialists in pools, foam and rubber providing a unique place in the Australian retail market. With such a broad product range, customers are all different whether it be young families, tradies, hobbyists and even commercial business customers.

Clark Rubber has also introduced a new business to the market ‘Clark Pools and Spa’s’ which operates direct to customer mobile vans focussed on capitalising on the growth of the pool/spa industry where there is currently only two major players- Poolwerx and Swimart complimented by a  growing number of smaller family operated businesses. With almost 1 million pools in Australia, revenue is projected to grow to $1B in 2021.

Clark Rubber Chief Executive (Anthony Grice) has a plan is to double the size of the current network of bricks & mortar stores within the next 3 years.

To achieve this anticipated growth, Clark Rubber sought out Geotech Information Services to draw upon the businesses 25 years’ experience in retail growth strategy planning. Geotech’s founding Managing Director (Bruce Waddington) has consulted to a number of high profile Australian & International retail brands- McDonald’s Australia, KFC, Petbarn, Country Road, RM Williams and Total Tools.

Building out a profitable retail network of bricks & mortar stores requires a two tiered approach to A) make sure the new stores are located in the areas that have the highest chance of success, and B) to ensure the new store does not cannibalise sales from any existing stores. Geotech has developed a sophisticated process of correlating data between stores that perform strongly and the micro characteristics of those high performing stores.

This process allows Geotech to build both sales & cannibalisation forecasting models based on a technique referred to as multiple regression modelling. This scientific process has proven to have a high degree of accuracy at predicting both sales potential and the impact a new store will have on surrounding stores.

With a business model that requires a significant upfront investment and diverse range of products, Anthony Grice and his team felt they needed to ensure that new store development would be based on a comprehensive network growth plan underpinned by both industry experience and a scientific approach.

Now that the process has been completed, Clark Rubber now has a prioritised strategic network plan that will help steer future growth in the areas identified as offering the strongest potential and the ability to more accurately predict the sales performance of any new store introduced into the network.

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