• Who's Your Buyer?

    by Marj Schultz February 2005

    There's a little-known product offered by the pool and hot tub industry that has the potential to become a popular item as the population ages. Lots of manufacturers make them, but for most dealers — if they sell them at all — they represent a small portion of their businesses. Ask a random person off the street about them and you're likely to get a blank...

  • The Total Package - January 2005

    by Jenna Danninger January 2005

    Forget Botox. Package pools are getting a facelift without the injections and expensive procedures. With the all-new look of package pools amounting to an “extreme makeover,” it’s sure to turn heads and raise curiosity. “It’s coming down to aesthetics,” says Phil Della Pietro, director of construction at the Pool and Spa Doctor in Wall Township, N.J., “and trying to make your backyard a little paradise island.” And with the ability to do...

  • The Silent Sell

    by Patti Wood January 2005

    You have gone over your sales material, you've researched your prospect, and you're excited about what you are going to say about your company, product or service. You are now ready for your sales presentation.

    Well, at least 15 percent of it. Because the newest research says that most face-to-face buying decisions are made within the first three to five minutes of...

  • Common Scents

    by Kirstin Pires January 2005

    It's purely a non-scientific observation, but doesn't it seem like everything smells these days. It wasn't that long ago that Windex smelled like Windex. Now it comes in five flavors. From the expansive growth of the air-freshening-product category, to the bewildering variety of fragrance-flavors now available in previously self-scented products, to the entirely new...

  • The Fifth Sense

    by Kirstin Pires January 2005

    It's only on rare occasions that I get to experience — in person — the products that we write about every month in AQUA. Sure, I swim in a big commercial pool twice a week, but my third-floor apartment is equipped with neither a hot tub nor a sauna. The only water feature in my home is a tropical fish aquarium. Pretty much all my furniture is casual, but because it's so well used, not because that's the category it started life in.

    Without a pool...

  • Down But Not Out

    by Barrett Kilmer November 2004

    Floridians are picking up the pieces after a series of vicious hurricanes ravaged the state in August and September. The combined insured losses from hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne are estimated at between $16 billion and $28 billion by RiskManagement Solutions, an insurance-industry consulting firm. The storms were responsible for scores of deaths and...

  • Avoid Costly Payroll Woes

    by Phillip M. Perry November 2004

    Who gets paid overtime. If you're like most retailers, that question has caused more than a few sleepless nights. After all, lots of money rides on the answer. Load up the hourly gravy train and you end up with a bloated payroll that erodes your profits. Exempt the wrong people, though, and you face a worse risk: Costly litigation for back pay from employees claiming misclassification.

    No wonder employers often feel caught between red ink and a lawsuit. Is...

  • Looking Ahead

    by Elissa Sard Pollack September 2004

    As the swimming season winds down in most parts of the country, you might not be thinking yet about how to market above-ground pools in 2005. Then again, perhaps you started preparing next year's marketing plan six months ago or more. Whether you're just starting to think about it or considering modifications based on this season's results, the following collection of...

  • Outdoor Is In

    by Barrett Kilmer September 2004

    Years ago, the perfect poolside patio might have included a black Weber grill, a RustOleum-coated table and chairs from a hardware store and maybe a swing set or a bug zapper. Backyards were more of an afterthought than anything else. Well, times have certainly changed. Today's discerning homeowner wants more. Much more. The Weber's been sold at a garage sale and in its...

  • Cover Care

    by Emily Fuger August 2004

    After purchasing a hot tub, consumers are more likely to be worried about keeping the right balance of chemicals in the water than keeping the cover clean and well preserved. It is necessary for retailers to stress the importance of cleaning and conditioning a cover, however, because years of sun, rain and varying temperatures can wreak havoc on an uncared-for cover...