RECENT ARTICLES
  • Webby Worthy

    by Jill Nebeker and Karen Erstad August 2007

    "Shopping around" used to require actually visiting a few stores to see what they had inside. Today, many consumers learn about products they intend to buy online — especially big-ticket items — and then go to one store to purchase them. Given this shift in buying patterns, pool and spa dealers and builders can't afford a poor Web presence. So what makes a...

  • Finding Great Part-Timers

    by Phillip M. Perry July 2007

    Part-time workers can be lifesavers when things get crazy. Maybe you're planning a big in-store event and you need help with the customer surge. Or maybe a key employee has announced he can only work half days next week so you need someone to fill in. And how about your plans to open evenings and weekends? If the regular staff can't make it, you'll need people who can.

    In situations like these, contingent employees can mean the difference between success and...

  • China Pattern

    by Amy Lillard July 2007

    Outdoor living manufacturers and retailers have worked hard and have largely succeeded in demonstrating the value of their products. They've convinced many buyers that the backyard and patio should be an outdoor destination, another room for entertaining and one to spruce up with products like hot tubs, casual furniture and gazebos. Good news,...

  • Your Hot Tub Here

    by The AQUA Staff July 2007

    There's no question that the backyard-living boom is fully underway. Whether purchased from high-end, to-the-trade-only vendors (Scalamandre has a line of Sunbrella upholstery), or from a budget-priced, big-box merchandiser, everything the homeowner needs to outfit an outdoor living space is now readily available. And the furniture, grills, water...

  • The Secret Lives of Winter Pool Covers

    by Becky Strauss June 2007

    With summer finally here, dealers and customers alike may not be thinking about winter pool covers. We here at AQUA, however, have our fingers on the pulse of the industry, and as winter covers across the snow belt came off in the last few months, it got us to thinking about their off-season: Where do winter covers hibernate in the summer. What does the...

  • Sauna Sizzle

    by Karen Erstad May 2007

    Emotions may not completely control consumers' buying decisions, but they certainly play a big role. That's why you talk about relaxation and family togetherness when selling spas, and that's also why it's a good idea to talk about relaxation and rejuvenation when selling saunas. Peter von Hopffgarten, owner of the Pool & Spa Depot in...

  • First Impressions

    by Marsha Lindquist May 2007

    In companies around the world, those in the reception role — whether it be an office receptionist, a greeter, an airport counter clerk, or any other front-line position — set the stage for how customers view their entire experience with the organization. In fact, in five seconds or less, that person's greeting, attitude and words will either prompt customers to investigate other options for their needs or will encourage them to stay and do business with...

  • Blanket Statements

    by Barrett Kilmer May 2007

    The sun's ability to warm the earth's surface (and brighten everyone's spirits) is well known. When the planet's orbit takes, say, Massachusetts, nearer the sun in the spring, ice melts, snowsuits get mothballed and winter covers are removed from pools. Each day between then and the summer solstice gets longer, allowing the sun more time to warm...

  • Inside Out - Industry leaders weigh in on the state of hot tub equipment

    by Becky Strauss May 2007

    When the latest hot tub comes out, it's easy to focus on the cosmetic details, to admire the skirt and the sparkly new jets. But as your mom always said, it's what's on the inside that counts, and the spa equipment is no exception. AQUA hasn't checked in with the equipment industry for a few years regarding what's going on inside the spa, and so we decided to see what's...

  • Rise of the Robots

    by Kirstin Pires April 2007

    Sales of his company's robotic pool cleaners have doubled in the past three years, according to Gil Erlich of Aqua Products, Cedar Grove, N.J. And in Europe, he says, 50 percent of all new pool cleaners purchased are robotics. While not everyone agrees with that figure, one thing nearly everyone agrees on is that robotic automatic pool cleaners are gaining in popularity,...