Gone are the days when swimming pool ownership meant constant maintenance – tedious work that could soon take the pleasure out of those sparkling cool waters. Today, all of that hard work is history. Delair Group, LLC, helps families enjoy more time together in their backyard pools, which are designed and manufactured to be virtually maintenance-free.
The Pennsauken, N.J., company is a global leader in the design and manufacture of superior, high-end aluminum in-ground and above-ground swimming pools, and aluminum ornamental fencing. When you are building quality, you are particular about leaving nothing to chance. Everything Delair manufactures, from the raw materials to the highly polished fencing finials and “Grand Entrance Pool Staircases,” is subjected to continuous quality-control inspections that ensure unparalleled quality to owners of Delair fences and pools.
Delair is part of a conglomerate of four companies called the Arch America Company. The three other companies are Accu-Weld (specializing in vinyl windows and doors), Ultra Hardware (a leading distributor of hardware products) and Aluminum Shapes (an aluminum extruder). All of the four companies are located in Pennsauken, except for Accu-weld, which is located in nearby Bensalem, Pa. Aluminum Shapes was the first of the four companies to begin operating, in 1954. Delair Group started manufacturing swimming pools in the mid-1960s, and has been manufacturing its fencing products for just under 10 years. “Because we are a vertical company, we have more control over the quality of our high-end products,” says Ilene Fink, marketing director for Delair Group. “Also, the fact that we have a large corporation behind us distinguishes us in the industry. Added to all of this, we have great, dedicated people working for us.”
With several lines of swimming pools available, even the most discerning consumers will find just the right pool to please every taste. “We sell three of our most popular brands dealer-direct, who in turn sell to the consumer,” says Fink. Delair also sells other brands through distribution, but never directly to the consumer.
The company’s Esther Williams aluminum pools are as legendary as the woman they are named after. For more than 30 years, consumers have been enjoying these pools – which are renowned for their innovative designs, attractive appearances and long-lasting durability. Esther Williams pools are available in both above-ground and in-ground models.
Another American legend is captured in Delair’s Johnny Weissmuller aluminum, above-ground pools. Just as Weissmuller himself brought so much pleasure to Americans throughout the years, his namesake swimming pools do the same. Weissmuller is known throughout the world as both a gold medal-winning Olympic swimmer and as Hollywood’s most famous Tarzan.
Lastly is Delair’s Symphony Series line, an above-ground, steel-constructed pool. These pools also offer beautiful patterns with color coordinated frames. Delair’s Esther Williams in-ground swimming pools are constructed of heavy-gauge extruded aluminum panels. “There are many benefits of using our aluminum wall panels as opposed to concrete, steel or polymer walls,” says Fink. “The aluminum panels along with the vinyl liners in our pools render them virtually maintenance-free. You don’t have to worry about scraping, sanding and painting every year. The only thing you have to do is, perhaps, replace the liner about every 10 to 15 years.”
“Our Esther Williams and Johnny Weissmuller above-ground pools are very similar in terms of strengths, features and benefits,” says Fink. “The primary differences are in aesthetics different wall patterns, for example.”
Delair pools are constructed in two ways. “Our sheet-wall pools are made from one continuous piece of aluminum coil that forms the shape of the pool,” explains Fink. “Our extruded aluminum slat-wall pools form the shape of the pool using slats that connect together. Slat walls come in solid colors and the sheet walls can be painted, giving the wall a pattern.”
Delair’s distinction in the industry is that it offers both steel and aluminum swimming pools. “We offer the steel Symphony Series line because most of the industry’s above-ground pools are constructed of steel, and we want to offer both steel and aluminum to our dealers,” says Fink. “There are very few competitors offering aluminum pools.”
The company also manufactures custom-made pools. “We do this on a small scale, and we will develop a private-label line, with custom patterns and colors, for a distributor if they are large enough,” says Fink. Although Fink cannot say which famous people are using Delair fences and swimming in Delair pools every day of the year, she could say that they are people we all know, including athletes, actors and politicians.
Good Fences Make Good Neighbors
Delair’s aluminum ornamental fence division is one of its fastest-growing divisions. “Our fencing is extruded, fabricated, and painted right here, and we are the only aluminum ornamental fence company that does all of that,” says Fink.
The fencing market is not a mature market, as is the pool industry, and Fink explains that this and the fact that Delgard is quickly gaining market share are probably why the fence division is as fast growing as it is. Delair fencing is available in styles and colors not offered by many of its competitors.
“We say there are three major reasons why people buy a fence: kids, pools and pets,” says Fink. A large portion of the company’s business is generated by people needing fences around their pools. “It’s a very upscale product – all of our products are. In today’s healthy economy, consumers are buying more high-end quality products. More and more people are putting them up than ever before.”
Aero Royale is Delair’s new product offering to the fence market. “It’s a fence made totally without screws,” explains Fink. “We are still in the developmental stage of being able to produce and manufacture it efficiently. It’s a very strong fence and gives a cleaner appearance.”
Most of the company’s marketing is done through a network of dealers and distributors. Delair advertisements are placed in national magazines including Better Homes and Gardens, special-interest publications such as Outdoor Casual, Garden Ideas and Gardens, Decks and Landscapes. Home Savvy recently focused one of its TV shows on how an Esther Williams Millennium swimming pool is constructed.
Future in Market Leadership
“We are growing dramatically, and plan to continue to do so,” says Fink of Delair’s sales growth of about 55 percent over the last five years. “Due to our growth, we are continuously improving the efficiency of our space and manufacturing processes.”
Delair employs 300 of the approximately 2,000 individuals working for all of the four companies and boasts more than 450,000 square feet in its own facilities.
“We will continue to be a market leader in the swimming pool industry, and we are among the top-five largest pool companies in the industry,” she says. “We are looking to become one of the leaders in the fence industry by gaining market share through growing our product lines and continuing to offer innovative and quality products.” This commitment to improved quality shows in Delair’s recent equipment upgrades in its liner shop, as well as continuing investments in new tooling to facilitate new product designs.
Fink hints that Delair has considered acquisitions to keep the company growing strong. “But we haven’t acted yet. We will if the right opportunity comes along. We have good people working for us that makes us the success we are,” she says. Fink attributes Delair’s success to the company’s ability to continue to offer the right products at the right time. “We try to keep current on the styles, colors, and patterns our customers want,” she concludes.