Sat | Sep 23, 2017

Get jiggy with iGUi

Published:Friday | February 5, 2016 | 2:00 AMDaviot Kelly
At its new showroom on Upper Waterloo Road, iGUi Pools displays some of its biggest pool offerings, enticing potential customers from the Waterloo Road traffic.
The iGUi Pools Jamaica team (from left) Horace Walters, sales team member; Lyndia Earle, director of sales and marketing; Winston Barrett, CEO; his wife, Marguerite Barrett, director; Omar McFarlane, space planner and autoCAD technician; and Shellly Ann Williams, in-house sales and marketing executive.
iGUi Pools’ Shelly Ann Williams demonstrates how user-friendly the control panel is for the pool. There are various settings, including a timing mode for the pool to clean itself.
The showpiece of the Upper Waterloo Road showroom of iGUi Pools. There are plans to add more displays, including spas and saunas.
Lyndia Earle, iGUi Pools director of sales and marketing, explains just how inviting the pool can be. The pools come in a variety of colours, lengths, and widths, with a myriad of finishes, making yours unique.
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iGUi (pronounced 'iggy') Pools Jamaica is looking to make a splash in the island by introducing fibreglass pools.

iGUi Pools is in 30 countries across Europe and the Americas, with headquarters in Brazil. CEO of iGUi Pools Jamaica, Winston Barrett, said the swimming pool has always been a reserve of the very wealthy.

"But what iGUi wants to do is to level the 'fun field' by being able to provide a swimming pool to anybody who is serious in investing in their health, their property values and their lifestyle."

iGUi has been in Jamaica for about six months, and the company established a showroom at Upper Waterloo Road in December.

Barrett said the location (at the intersection with Shortwood Road) is good for business. The four model pools in the front yard are definite eye-catchers.

"We didn't choose this location by accident," he said. "This is at a very busy intersection, it's like a corridor. We're visible from Barbican, we're visible from upper Shortwood Road. The location gets a lot of attention from the demographic that we want to entice."

And it's working. During the interview, motorists were curiously eyeing the pools. Barrett said many take photos and call later to learn more. He noted there was interest even before the showroom, as they sold three pools before they actually arrived in Jamaica.

"And since we have set up here, it has been nothing short of excitement, and tremendous interest," he said. "Because we're offering a unique product that is not available anywhere else, this is where people will come. And we've tried to make it as pleasant and comfortable as possible."

Barrett said landscaping will be done shortly, including a backyard-esque demo area. The company will also have displays of spas and saunas, another iGUi offering, in collaboration with the Hot Spring Spas brand. The first orders of pools have been sold off, and they are working on about 15 more.

"What is interesting is that we have people who would not normally think of investing in a pool coming by," he said.

Barrett said an iGUi pool costs 50 per cent less than a concrete pool.

STURDY MATERIAL

"Because it's made from fibreglass, which is a very hardy and almost indestructible material, if used properly, there is hardly any maintenance issues," he said. "Fibreglass will not shrink, is not going to leak just like that, it's not going to expand." All iGUi pools come with a 15-year warranty.

"Remember, fibreglass is the material that is used to make yachts and boats, that are subject to brutal behaviour of nature. So, if it's good enough for that, it can handle a few people jumping around." The pools range in size from 11 to 32 feet (length), with different widths, depths, colours and finishes.

The pools can be installed anywhere, as long as the structure can maintain it.

"We're going to take your information, make an appointment to come to your home, and we will do an evaluation with you to determine exactly where you want to put the pool, where is the best location to put it and the size that is most appropriate," he said. The customer will get a 3-D rendering (giving them an exact idea of how it will look) and a proper estimate, including installation and delivery. Barrett estimated the time between viewing pools online, to having it installed, is about 14 days.

iGUi has partnered with National Commercial Bank to provide various financing options, but Barrett said potential customers could go through any financial entity of their choice. He explained that homeowners who already have concrete pools can have them retrofitted, which would also be cheaper.

There are also plans to host an Open Day, February 13, and a private viewing for developers, architects and designers.

"Once the business has evolved in a robust way, the intention is to actually have us manufacture the pools in Jamaica."

He said Jamaica would then serve the Caribbean.

iGUi Pools buys its material from local hardware stores and utilises Jamaican workmen, providing employment, especially in communities where the homes are located. Barrett aims to sell 75 pools per year for the next three years, and 100 for the next two years.

daviot.kelly@gleanerjm.com