- Tuesday, August, 02, 2016 Uber for Pool Service: Will On-Demand Service Take Off?
Nicole Ruble was on Facebook in late April when an ad caught her eye. It was promoting a new lead generation service, Pool Service on Demand, that claimed it could help pool businesses land new service customers.
Ruble, sales manager of JFY Pools in Elgin, Ill., was intrigued. But Sean Ruble, her husband and owner of JFY Pools, was uncertain.
"I was the one that was like, 'All right, let's do it, it sounds really interesting,'" Nicole says. "Sean was the one who was a little...
- Monday, July, 18, 2016 7 Tips for Training Summer Help
Training summer help happens in the spring, but thinking about and preparing a summer help training program happens in the fall and winter. To that end, we offer these tips for consideration in developing a strong seasonal staff.
In 2011, Brandon Windsor walked into Fox Pools and Spas (Hendersonville, Tenn.), ready to start a brand-new job as a summer employee. With a background in specialty retail and retail management, he was pretty well equipped to hit the ground...
- Wednesday, July, 13, 2016 This Beautiful Storefront Brings Paradise to the Suburbs
About 70 miles outside of Washington, D.C., on the eastern coast of the Chesapeake Bay, you'll find something surprising: a tropical oasis.
Almost, anyway. What you see is actually the home of AQUA Pools and Spas (Easton, Md.). With emerald grass, a bright coral exterior and a sky-blue roof, AQUA Pools and Spas evokes thoughts of a Caribbean oceanfront paradise. According to General Manager Danny Morris, that's by design.
"[We're] definitely trying to bring a beach feel to...
- Thursday, July, 07, 2016 This Burger King Has an Unexpected Amenity
Burger King's famous slogan is, "Have it your way." And if "your way" means eating a Whopper while enjoying a sauna, well, you can have it that way too.
That's because a new Burger King in Finland — long considered the champion of sauna culture, with one sauna for every three people — offers a comprehensive spa experience with two saunas, one that seats 15 and another that seats 10, along with showers and dressing rooms. (The latter also includes a 48-inch TV for good...
- Tuesday, June, 21, 2016 Texas Retailer Stages Incredible Turnaround
Twenty eleven was a record year for Wichita Falls, Texas. Not only was it the hottest year on record, it was also the second year of what would ultimately be a five-year drought, though no one knew it at the time.
Paul Buckingham, owner of Outback Pools and Spas, was concerned. Post-recession pool and spa sales were still recovering, and now with the threat of water scarcity coming into play, Outback Pools and Spas was in serious danger.
Faced with a fight-or-flight...
- Thursday, June, 16, 2016 The Unreal Future of Pool Design
Watching Noah Nehlich demonstrate Structure Studios' latest innovation is like watching a magic trick. First, he puts on the floor something that resembles a mouse pad. Then he holds up an iPad. Suddenly, a pool appears on the screen as if it were installed into the very floor on which we stand.
As Nehlich walks around the mouse pad on the ground, called a track pad, he can see the pool from all sides. With a press of a button, he can swap the pool for a different shape, size,...
- Tuesday, June, 14, 2016 Iceland's Hidden Hot Tubs
In the Northwest region of Iceland is the small fishing town of Drangsnes. Home to less than 100 people, it may be small, but it offers a unique attraction that makes it especially welcoming to locals and visitors alike: public hot tubs.
Located off Rt. 645, which cuts right through Drangsnes, guests will find three tubs to choose from. Each are heated to a different temperature — one hot, one warm and one cold. Like Goldilocks, it's up to you to pick that one that's just right. But...
- Tuesday, June, 07, 2016 Try Before 'They' Buy
Almost Heaven Saunas has been on the upswing. Annual sales have increased 25 to 30 percent each year over the past seven years — and actually doubled between 2014 and 2015. Consumer interest has picked up as well; according to research by Almost Heaven, Google searches for the word "sauna" have climbed by 20 percent annually for the past several years.
In spring, Almost Heaven capitalized on surging sales and rising public curiosity by opening a large showroom in Holland, Mich.,...
- Thursday, May, 12, 2016 2016 SOI Hot Tub Retail Report
Selling spas is a lot different than selling a pool — the audience differs, needs change and, of course, the price point changes. With that in mind, we wanted this year’s State of the Industry issue to shed more light on what matters to hot tub retailers, including attention-grabbing features, hot models and more.
RELATED:2016 SOI Retail Report: Tempered Confidence
- 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...