• Cross Cultivating

    by Reid Creager November 2003

    Look alive: golf cart inbound on your left. Awwww, check out the border collie clowning around over there, and the German shepherd taking his person for a walk over here! Anybody up for a little putting.

    And hey, where'd you get that Popsicle?

    Welcome to the Greenhouse Mall just outside Austin, Texas, a 32-acre site where you can pack away your preconceived...

  • Breaking Into Billiards

    by Barrett Kilmer November 2003

    Spa and pool retailers have long been selling ancillary merchandise that complements the selling season of their core products. In winter, when customers are thinking about anything but swimming, many stores have found success selling hearth products, saunas, grills, tanning beds and, in ever-increasing numbers, billiard tables and accessories. In fact, some...

  • Successful In Seattle

    by Reid Creager September 2003

    It could happen. Right. A lasting Mideast peace could materialize. The Cubs could win the World Series. And rivals in the highly competitive spa and pool industry could not only agree to a merger but thrive in its aftermath, even in a daunting economy.

    The 1999 joining of two Seattle-area businesses — Carlson Pool & Spa and Aqua Quip — is proof...

  • Sling's Hot

    by Grayson Walker September 2003

    Despite a proliferation of casual furniture types and styles in the past few years, sling remains king of the outdoors.

    "It's definitely the meat and potatoes of our business," says Bill Ryan, owner of Seasonal Pool & Patio in Burlington, Mass. "We also sell some cushion and a fair amount of jarrah, teak and wrought iron."


  • Dealers Make The Call

    by Christina Dimartino September 2003

    As the popularity of residential spa use increases, so does the number of chemical products that insure consumers have clean, clear and safe water. Chemical manufacturers now vie for the increasingly precious retail shelf space — precious because there are more chemical products than ever competing for the same amount of space. The ones that win are the ones that...

  • Going With The Flow

    by Marj Schultz September 2003

    Once used mainly for rehab, swim spas are no longer just for the training room. They've joined spas and in-ground swimming pools as a viable option for families seeking fun in their backyards.

    As customers become more aware of swim spas, they will become an easier sell. But for now, retailers say that in-store displays, educated sales staffs and directed...

  • Stepping Out

    by Emily Fuger August 2003

    Wood materials have been dominant players in the spa industry for the better part of its existence. Makers of spa steps, surrounds and most accessories followed the trend. But as as the category grows and evolves, new materials are appearing in the marketplace, allowing retailers and consumers to pick and choose the materials they prefer. Synthetic spa steps, surrounds and...

  • Warming Up To Heaters

    by AQUA Editors August 2003

    When visualizing the clear blue pool they'll soon have in their backyard, many prospective pool owners imagine diving into cool, refreshing water on a hot summer day. Few consider the shock of plunging into a chilly 65-degree pool. But that's what they may encounter if they want to jump in before July. And since many pool owners today want to use their pool as early as...

  • Jet Set

    by Kirstin Pires July 2003

    Consider the jet. Jets lead double lives, delivering all-important hydrotherapy and carrying more than their fair share of the marketing burden as well.

    While some manufacturers are scrambling to differentiate their tubs from the pack by adding lights, televisions and sound systems, others are marketing with a medical focus and an emphasis on hydrotherapy. But...

  • Buddy to Boss

    by AQUA Editors February 2002

    romoting Susan to that new management position seemed like a great idea. She always worked long hours and wanted to move up. And she was so popular with her coworkers! Why bother tracking down an outside candidate when there was already a staff member ready to roll.

    Unfortunately, problems cropped up as soon as Susan took on her new...