I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but we’ve had a theme for our Stores section this year: Each one we talk to has recently expanded. For this issue, the theme is moving stores, adding stores and expanding existing stores.
It is fascinating to see the reasons and ways companies expand. Take for instance our SR panelist Brian Wasik: He has a long-term strategy to grow through acquisition. He purchased all his stores as existing businesses — four total with plans to buy more. David Isaacs, featured in this issue’s Stores department, brought on a new brand and opened a separate store in the same town, essentially becoming his own competition. Each business is unique but both are looking for growth.
We’re all looking for growth. Maybe you don’t want to or can’t add a new location; perhaps your growth will come from a new revenue stream. Regardless of where you find it, the old adage “if you’re not growing, you’re dying” comes to mind.
I hate that for the second issue in a row, there’s sad news to deliver. Matthew Markiton, who worked in the hot tub industry for 25 years, passed away in April. Markiton helped his father, Robert Markiton, run manufacturer Sunbelt Spas for many years, and more recently, local hot tub retail store Katy Hot Tubs in Katy, Texas. Born with a heart defect, Markiton developed a heart infection after Hurricane Harvey; he needed a new heart, a double lung transplant and a kidney transplant. Markiton and his wife, Audrey, received an award for the work they did during Hurricane Harvey to help rescue families in their neighborhood and surrounding area. Markiton is survived by his wife and their two young sons, Alex and Jacob. You can donate to help cover his medical and funeral costs at HelpHopeLive.org or give to the Matt Markiton Memorial Education Fund. Information for both can be found on our Facebook page.