Cailley Hammel
Cailley joined the AQUA team in August 2012, and serves as the magazine's managing editor. She commonly writes about the hot tub industry, marketing and retailing. Follow her on Twitter @CailleyH or send her an email at cailley@aquamagazine.com.
  • Friday, March, 01, 2019 A Magnet For Young Talent

    For pool and spa professionals, finding new employees to fill retail, service and construction jobs is an uphill battle. Even more difficult, however, is keeping them.

    According to a study by the Center for American Progress, it can cost on average $3,328 to find, hire and train a new $10/hour retail employee. (Expect that figure to be significantly higher for service techs and construction workers who, even at entry level, require significant training and/ or...

  • Tuesday, February, 26, 2019 Automatic Pool Covers: The Everyday Essential

    For years, automatic pool covers were considered a luxury add-on to what was already a luxury product. At a cost of tens of thousands of dollars, the ability to open and close a pool with the push of a button was something accessible only to high-end homeowners. Today, however, pool builders report automatic pool covers are becoming far more commonplace, especially on mid-range pools.

    “Twenty years ago, trying to sell an automatic pool cover to our middle-class customers was a tough...

  • Tuesday, January, 08, 2019 Amazon Launches Interactive Showroom Experience

    Amazon is further investing in experiential retail, this time by rolling out a show digital showroom feature called Amazon Showroom.

    The interactive program allows customers to create their own virtual living rooms. Customers can select wall and floor color and fill the space with selections from a vast online inventory of sofas, lamps, rugs, coffee tables, art and more — all of which are part of Amazon’s private-label...

  • Thursday, November, 15, 2018 A Legendary Marketing Strategy

    Have you met "The Legend" yet?

    If you're familiar with Haviland Pool & Spa Products, you might have. He's the host of Haviland's web series, "Legendary Pools & Spas," which debuted earlier this year on the YouTube channel of the same name. Each episode depicts The Legend, portrayed by Haviland Regional Sales Manager John Bokor, shining a light on one of the many interesting facets of our industry.

    Sometimes he talks to a dealer with a remarkable story, as he did when...

  • Tuesday, October, 30, 2018 LPI Eliminating Dealer Program

    In a significant shift in business strategy, LPI announced it is ending its domestic dealership program to focus on its direct-to-consumer retail division, Aqua Living Factory Outlets. The move, effective Jan. 1, 2019, will impact about 200 spa retailers who carry LPI portable spas, which includes the Catalina, Signature and Pinnacle brands. Aqua Living currently operates 35 stores, with 110 more expected to open over the next two years.

    LPI CEO Dave Hatley says the change is the...

  • Thursday, August, 02, 2018 Building an Unforgettable Store

    For several years now, trade shows seminars, trade publications (ours included) and others have trumpeted the same message: Experiential retail is the present and future of brick-and-mortar retail.

    Translating that concept to your showroom, however, is easier said than done. Just ask David Isaacs, the third-generation owner of Isaacs Pools and Spas in Johnson City, Tenn. Over the course of just a few months, Isaacs executed a comprehensive redesign of his 8,000-square-foot showroom...

  • Tuesday, July, 10, 2018 A High-Scoring Approach To Generating Leads

    Let's face it: Lead generation can be a slog. While passive strategies like word-of-mouth are quite effective, lead generation often takes work. It's passing out business cards, sending direct mail to homeowners in your area, canvassing the neighborhood and setting up shop at home shows.

    Then there's the other side of the coin: following up on leads. If you've had a particularly strong home show, for example, you might have dozens of leads to sift through. With limited time and...

  • Thursday, July, 05, 2018 The Spa Industry's Best-Kept Secret?

    The rotomolded spa is somewhat of a black sheep in the hot tub industry. In a glistening showroom, rotomolds don't necessarily have the luster and curb appeal of their acrylic siblings. They often lack the luxe features customers love. And their entry-level price points don't turn the same profit (or commission) as, say, a high-end acrylic.

    "I've been in the business doing shows for 20 years. And I run into old friends of mine that I haven't seen in a long time, and they laugh at...

  • Tuesday, May, 29, 2018 Hot Tub Report 2018: Sales Still Hot

    Hot tub dealers have a lot to crow about. For example, 88 percent of our survey respondents said hot tub sales last year either increased or stayed even, an impressive testament to the category's staying power as well as the health of the economy right now. Spa retailers are also investing more in swim spas than ever before — year-on-year responses showed an 8 percent increase in 2017.

    With sales and outlook both positive, we sought to use this year's SOI to ask about the issues...

  • Tuesday, May, 08, 2018 Retail Report 2018: Holding Steady

    The retail landscape has evolved both dramatically and rapidly over the past several years. E-commerce giants like Amazon have continued to grow in influence and power, even expanding into brick-and-mortar formats. Consumers are more empowered than ever thanks to the internet and smart devices, which afford them the ability to perform extensive research and compare prices before (and even during) an in-store visit. Customer expectations are also higher than ever, with convenience becoming...