At last year's PSP Expo in Orlando, APSP met to gauge interest in developing a group that would...
Last week we kicked off our monthlong celebration of the Awards of Excellence with a look at the...
Organizers of the International Pool |Spa | Patio Expo recently announced five finalists for the...
As we’ve discussed time and time again, one of the best ways to battle big box stores and e-tailers is to make your store an “experience.”
For mom-and-pop stores, that may be easier said than done. However, some retailers are taking advantage of the holiday season by decking the halls with elaborate displays that help draw in customers.
A hardware store in Colorado, for example, does this every year with great success. But there’s also a retailer in the pool and spa industry who is making the most of Christmas: Seasonal Specialty Store in Foxborough, Mass.
Each year at Seasonal Specialty, you’ll find a giant display of Christmas trees by the windows, nutcrackers at the checkout display, a cabinet of holiday-themed mugs and other signs of holiday cheer.
Addressing all the senses, too, is key.
“We try to create an ambiance,” says Michael Small, co-owner and partner of Seasonal Specialty. “We have an old-fashioned popcorn machine. When people come in, we offer them a bag of popcorn for free. We have the old-time Christmas music going. You try to give them the feel between the smell of popcorn, the sound of the music and all the lights.”
Creating the Christmas display, which has been an integral part of Seasonal Specialty for more than 35 years, is quite a production.
“We rip the store apart and put it back together again,” Small says. “We do Christmas with trees, collectibles, ceramic houses, Byer’s Choice carolers, unique gifts, lights and garland.”
Pre-lit Christmas trees are a big seller for Seasonal Specialty, and as such, they play a big part in the decor.
“Our trees are like walking through a forest with snowflakes above,” Small says. “We shut off all the overhead lights and turn spotlights onto the trees instead. It’s in front of windows, so if you’re driving by, you see all the trees.”
It may be a lot of work, but Small knows it’s a big hit among families.
“We actually have people that take their family Christmas pictures in front of our trees.”
Hiring and training new employees isn’t a black-and-white process — in fact, there’s quite a bit of gray area. That’s because there’s a lot of emotion and opinion involved, and everyone approaches it differently.
For example: What do you consider satisfactory job performance? How much time do you think is required to properly train an employee? How long should it take before a new hire “gets it”?
And what would you consider to be poor performance and/or unsatisfactory...
In an effort to provide a networking forum for women working in the pool and spa industry, SWIMN (Supporting Women Industry-Wide, Mentors and Networking) will hold its third annual reception at the PSP Expo on Tuesday, Oct. 30.
An independent networking group, SWIMN was established by Pam Vinje, CEO of digital marketing firm Small Screen Producer and former director of social media, marketing and events for APSP. Vinje established SWIMN with several close female associates she met...
At last year's PSP Expo in Orlando, APSP met to gauge interest in developing a group that would focus on the commercial side of the pool and spa industry.
The response was overwhelming. The event played out to a standing-room-only crowd, with a vigorous exchange of ideas among all assembled.
“As we continued on in that meeting and asked questions of what people were interested in, we found a great alignment within the entire industry,” says Donna Williams, chief marketing...
It's no secret that variable-speed pumps have become the primary means for increasing energy efficiency in pools. Since their introduction in the early 2000s, the technology has become widely accepted at all...