• Scott Webb Commentary: Economic Canaries Still Chirping

    by Scott Webb March 2019

    As a rule, I try to keep a weather eye on the general economy — it’s the single most important factor in how many pools and spas we sell. And sales affect everything we do.

    At the macro level, when the flow of goods and services starts to constrict, when confidence wanes, when the movement of cash and capital through the system starts to slow, we in the pool and spa business feel it first because we make the products people cut first. We are the canaries of the economic coal...

  • What Would You Do: Storage Solutions

    by AQUA Editors March 2019

    Commercial property can be expensive, which leads some industry professionals to run their business out of their home. Storing materials, especially harmful chemicals, becomes a difficult task. What is the best storage solution? Industry pros share their insights:

    RELATED:What Would You Do: Preventing Knee Pain


    Myles Mcmorrow

  • Customize Your Customer's Cleaner

    by Jamie Novak March 2019

    It's imperative small retailers create a unique experience for their customers — something they can't find anywhere else. Product customization is an excellent way to provide just that. It's a way for small business owners to differentiate themselves from their big-box and online competitors.

    For years, aquatic retailers have used this strategy when selling pool and spa water treatment packages — but why not use this same approach with a cleaning system? This level of customization,...

  • What Makes a Good Distributor?

    by Abigail Carpenter March 2019

    Wholesale distributors play a critical role in the day-to-day function of the pool and spa industry. While retailers, builders and service technicians work the front lines, distributors are behind the curtain with the potential to make or break the end goal: customer satisfaction.

    But what makes a good distributor — and what should front-line businesses expect from the people that charge a healthy product markup in exchange for warehousing and product support?

    Renee Huston,...

  • The Real, Scientific Benefits of Swimming

    by Heather Ansell March 2019

    Being in this industry for the past 15 years, I see many families looking to purchase pools for their children or grandchildren to enjoy. They do not have the slightest clue that this pool of water in their backyard could potentially save their lives through the many tremendous health benefits it provides. I’ve long believed in the healing, healthy power of water, but I decided I should do some research so I could be better equipped, as a retailer, to explain its clinical, scientific...

  • Video: OmniHub Smart Pool & Spa Control from Hayward

    by Hayward Pool Products March 2019

    When it comes to adding pool automation, OmniHub Smart Pool & Spa Control from Hayward is the only solution that gives pool owners full control and management of their entire pool pad —like adjusting heater temperature and switching on spa mode — right from their phone, tablet or Alexa voice control. OmniHub can be installed in a matter of hours by a pool professional and is simple to configure with existing equipment — meaning you can give your customers a total backyard upgrade in a...

  • Something Under the Spa, Under $500

    by Scott Webb March 2019

    This story on low-cost spa pad alternatives begins by way of a personal account:

    My brother Gary bought a hot tub last month. I drove down to his place and accompanied him in the venture, because I’m from the industry and know something about spas, and because these apparently legitimate endeavors are easy to justify to our spouses while providing a good opportunity to hang out and drink beer.

    He’s been considering the purchase for years, but the outlay is pushing his...

  • Learning for Leaders

    by Daniel Seeger March 2019

    There's a lot to learn in the pool and spa industry. Whether you are new to the field or a veteran with decades of experience under your belt, industry professionals can expect their body of knowledge will be continually refreshed and updated throughout their career.

    Complicating matters is the seasonality of the work. Much of the summer is devoted to new projects and upkeep of existing pools and spas, meaning much of that educational “upkeep” is relegated to the...

  • A Magnet For Young Talent

    by Cailley Hammel March 2019

    For pool and spa professionals, finding new employees to fill retail, service and construction jobs is an uphill battle. Even more difficult, however, is keeping them.

    According to a study by the Center for American Progress, it can cost on average $3,328 to find, hire and train a new $10/hour retail employee. (Expect that figure to be significantly higher for service techs and construction workers who, even at entry level, require significant training and/ or...

  • Automatic Pool Covers: The Everyday Essential

    by Cailley Hammel February 2019

    For years, automatic pool covers were considered a luxury add-on to what was already a luxury product. At a cost of tens of thousands of dollars, the ability to open and close a pool with the push of a button was something accessible only to high-end homeowners. Today, however, pool builders report automatic pool covers are becoming far more commonplace, especially on mid-range pools.

    “Twenty years ago, trying to sell an automatic pool cover to our middle-class customers was a tough...