JUMP! Swim Schools under fire over delay concerns

By Nick Hall | 09 Jan 2019 View comments

Children’s health and education franchise, JUMP! Swim Schools has announced plans to improve franchisee support after concerns over new unit opening delays were raised.

On Tuesday, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that JUMP! franchisee Juliet Sharpe had paid over $165,000 for her franchise more than two years ago, in addition to more than $100,000 in rent, despite not yet opening her school.

Reports indicate the delays stemmed from building certification issues, with a spokesperson for JUMP! acknowledging that strict regulation plays a determining factor in the opening times of these kinds of businesses.

“Unfortunately, there is a high level of regulation involved in opening a swim school that requires approval from multiple third parties and can be subject to a range of approvals and refusals,” the spokesperson told Inside Franchise Business.

“JUMP! Swim Schools has little control over the timeframes to opening due to these third parties including local councils, private certifiers, health departments as well as a needing the landlord to consent to the building being held vacant whilst we await all the necessary approvals.”

Over the last six months the company has handed over 12 new JUMP! Swim School franchises to operators, at an average turnkey fitout cost of $180,000 including GST.

While there is no definite timeframe in which Sharpe’s franchise venture will open, the JUMP! spokesperson revealed the group had increased head-office support to facilitate franchisee assistance.

“As a result, we have attempted to support our franchisees by providing financial assistance should the landlord require ongoing rental payments prior to the receipt of third party approvals, however we are within no control of the timing of these approvals,” the spokesperson said.

“We have recently increased the team to communicate effectively with our franchisees during such a complicated regulatory approval process and we will continue to assist our franchisees.”

JUMP! Swim Schools is the product of former FCA Australian emerging franchisor of year award winner, Ian Campbell and has been operating in the franchise space since 2016.