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Here's some good news: The hot tub industry has finally regained some of its swagger.
When patio pleasures Pools & Spas renovated its showroom earlier this year, it gained more than floorspace and a new look. Casual living products and on-trend decor items were also added to the product mix, as well as a build-your-own-succulent bar, an interactive attraction that will be a regular fixture in the showroom.
“It first started with my own personal passion with succulents,” says Rene Huston, president of Patio Pleasures (Sun Prairie, Wis.). Huston got into succulents after learning about them online; she ordered some for herself and has been growing them ever since.
“I’ve never considered myself super good at growing things, but I was really intrigued with succulents,” she says. “They’re such a cool thing, and there are so many varieties.”
The BYOS bar is simple: a table on wheels with assembly-line-esque stations for pots, soil and a variety of plants to choose from. While inspiration for the bar was rooted in Huston’s personal interest in succulents, it’s also her way of pushing the store into experiential retail. Today’s shoppers crave retail environments where they can do more than shop, but also enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience they can’t get elsewhere. Succulents, with their booming popularity as a hardy, yet beautiful houseplant, provided the perfect opportunity.
Related: 8 Low-Maintenance Tropical Beauties to Plant Poolside
Succulents are also a strategic choice for Patio Pleasures because of their booming popularity among the younger generation. The millennial generation is a lucrative market for Huston as several large corporations have established themselves in the greater Madison area, and more, like global giant Foxconn, are on the way.
“We’re seeing a lot of millennials come to our area for employment, and so we definitely want to be able to cater to that demographic,” she says.
Even if younger customers are not interested in purchasing a large item right away, the fact they visited in the first place is a win for Huston.
“For us, it’s more about getting people engaged with Patio Pleasures, getting them in our showrooms,” she says. “If we can get them in our showrooms, they’ll have a connection with us.”
By any definition, Alice Cunningham is a one of the hot-tub industry's true pioneers. For nearly 40 years, she has led the company she and her husband founded, Olympic Hot Tubs, based in Seattle, to become one of the industry's vanguard...
First the bad news: The current population of prospective hot tub buyers is probably less than you may think.
Now for better news: It’s still more than you are selling to now.
A new study of prospective shoppers has uncovered some interesting facts about the pent-up demand for new hot tubs. The results finally cast some overdue light on the true state of the potential market.
Earlier estimates by Pkdata and others...
The door to your store swings open. The familiar chime from the door sensor rings through the air, instinctively pulling your eyes to the entryway. You see someone standing there, looking curiously at the hot tubs on your floor.
This person could be your next hot tub sale. Are you prepared?
When it comes to hot tub sales expertise, it's hard to beat Juliet Phelps. Co-owner of Ajax Pool and Spa in the competitive Aspen, Colo., market, Phelps has decades of spa sales under her...
Spa and pool retailers aren’t the only ones getting beat up by online competition. In fact, most retail categories fare far worse than we do. Few, however, have suffered like the local record store.
There was a time when every decent-sized city across the country had several record stores, but today the number has dwindled. Etail giants like Amazon struck the first blow by selling on low margins and delivering to doorsteps, then streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music...