- Tuesday, May, 10, 2016 2016 SOI Retail Report: Tempered Confidence
The past few years have seen a steady revival in the pool and spa industry. After a recession shuttered many businesses and left others bruised, the economy gradually recovered. Slowly, pool and spa pros were dusting themselves off and getting stronger once again.
Consumers are in a better position this year, which Charles Schwab credits to smaller debts and hourly earnings that rose by a modest but welcome 2.5 percent in 2015. In addition, fuel costs swiftly fell, further lining...
- Tuesday, May, 10, 2016 Athletes Beat the Heat in Sauna Marathon
In February, nearly 1,000 participants lined up for a race unlike any other: the European Sauna Marathon.
The event, held in a popular ski resort town in Southern Estonia, challenges racers to an epic battle of extremes: With only a map to guide them, participants run, hike and drive through the snow in...
- Tuesday, April, 12, 2016 State Fair Hot Tub Sales: How to Win Big
Rides, fried food, everything on a stick — those are just a few reasons people flock to the state fair, but they're not the only ones. Hot tub dealers across the country find the state fair is a hotbed for spa sales, with many accomplishing in a week what would otherwise take months.
"It's 50 percent of my total yearly sales in 12 days," says Jerry Schiltz, president of All-American Recreation, which has two locations outside Minneapolis. All-American Recreation has been a mainstay...
- Thursday, April, 07, 2016 New Website Positions Itself as 'Reverse Angie's List'
A new website offers an alluring concepts for small business owners everywhere: the chance to review your customers.
The website, ContractorsCustomers.com, allows businesses of all kinds to read and write reviews of potential clients. According to founder Scott Carzo, the website takes an age-old practice and brings it to the digital age.
- Tuesday, April, 05, 2016 Outdoor Living Products to Add to Your Shelves
For homeowners, the backyard isn’t just about the swimming pool or hot tub anymore — it’s about creating a backyard paradise. It’s about creating a backyard escape that multitasks to offer all kinds of experiences, from swimming and relaxing in a spa to gathering around a fire pit, enjoying a glass of iced tea in the gazebo or having an all-out party with a killer speaker system.
That’s why it’s critical for pool and spa retailers to think outside the box — or outside the pool —...
- Tuesday, March, 22, 2016 How to Break Into Outdoor Living
When talking about pooL building, David Martine, owner of Treescapes and Big Wave Pools (Andover, Kansas) gets right to the point: "Clients don't want someone who's just going to dig a hole and fill it with water," he says.
"Look at how many pictures are on Pinterest and Houzz of a pool with no patio furniture on it that's just a hole in the ground with water in it. Hardly any. You see the ones that are all dolled up because that's what everyone wants their backyard to feel...
- Thursday, March, 17, 2016 Navy Vet Wins ASP Franchise
America’s Swimming Pool Company is honoring those who served in a big way. Last year, the company announced its veterans program, a contest that would thank a veteran for his or her service by awarding them a free pool maintenance franchise. The first winner was officially announced last week: Miguel Macias, who will open is franchise in Reno, Nevada, in April....
- Thursday, March, 10, 2016 Astronaut Reunites with Swimming Pool After Year in Space
Astronaut Scott Kelly just spent nearly year in space. While in orbit, Kelly and his fellow passengers, Mikhail Kornienko and Sergey Volkov, underwent nearly 400 experiments about how people react to time in space, from cognitive performance and sleep, to how space affects our brain structure.
But Kelly was surprised by one of his “findings:” Just how much he missed his swimming pool:
- Tuesday, March, 01, 2016 The Power of the Freebie
For Dan Boelhauf, it's the little things that count. With more than 15 years in the pool and spa industry, more than a decade of which he's spent at St. Louis-area Prestige Pools & Spas, Boelhauf has learned that customers have changed — but throwing in a freebie goes a long way in making a hot tub sale.
"For better or for worse, most of our customers believe they are experts now. Whether they are or not," he says. "The Internet has given them the ability to do their shopping...
- Tuesday, February, 23, 2016 Sales Surge