• Lonza Awards $25,000 for Retail Makeovers

    by Cailley Hammel January 2018

    Lonza made a splash on the first day of The Pool & Spa Show by awarding a total of $25,000 to the winners of its first Store Makeover Contest.

    More than 100 retailers from across the country entered the contest, providing 200-word essays about their stores and why they deserved to win a makeover. Three retailers won $5,000, and the grand prize winner took home $10,000.

    The winners included:
    West Region Winner: Elk City Pools & Spas, Elk City, Okla.

  • Supreme Court to Hear Case on Internet Sales Tax

    by AQUA Editors January 2018

    E-commerce sites have several competitive advantages over their brick-and-mortar counterparts, one of which has long chafed small, independent retail owners: sales tax. As determined by the 1992 case South Dakota v. Wayfair, state governments cannot require an online retailer to collect sales tax if it does not have a physical presence in that state.

    In the 25 years since that ruling, however, the online retail space has radically evolved — today's consumers flock to the internet...

  • Furniture Store Sees Booming Success with Artificial Intelligence

    by Kathryn Howard January 2018

    Albert is not your average salesperson — he’s an artificial intelligence program designed explicitly to increase sales leads.

    Albert uses complex algorithms to assess existing marketing strategies and implement new ones, like landing pages, social media posts, email campaigns and more. Better yet, “he” does it completely autonomously, meaning companies that use Albert can spend less time on marketing and more time on lead follow-ups. 

    If you’re skeptical, you’re not alone....

  • Make “About Us” About You

    by Alice Cunningham January 2018

    One of the most popular pages on most websites is the “About Us” page. Research shows visitors typically click those first. Why? People want to know something about a company before doing business with it. I sure you look at "About Us" pages too when you’re shopping.

    Many hot tub companies miss this opportunity to make a meaningful connection. Often, you’ll just see bland lines like “Here at ABC Hot Tubs, we’re really great people, we love our customers and we’ve been in business...

  • Atlantic City's Got it All

    by AQUA Editors January 2018

    The Pool & Spa Show

    Atlantic City Convention Center
    1 Convention Blvd, Atlantic City, N.J.

    Conference: January 22 – 25 Exhibits: January 23 – 25

    Exhibit Floor Hours Tuesday, January 23: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Wednesday, January 24: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Thursday, January

  • Hiring Hot Tub Salespeople

    by Cailley Hammel January 2018

    Your top salesperson just gave his two weeks' notice. What do you do?

    For many hot tub dealers, the answer is "panic."

    Such a reaction is understandable — a hot tub dealer's revenue rests almost entirely on salespeople's shoulders. And in a field where great salesmanship hinges on thorough product knowledge, the idea of finding a new person, and starting from scratch, can sound intimidating.

    The pool and spa industry may be known for long tenures, but eventually,...

  • Boost Your Net Income

    by Erik Taylor January 2018

    Have you ever heard that phrase, "Time is Money?" Yeah, I have too. We all know what that means, but do we actually apply it in our pool businesses? If not, we are leaving money on the table, plain and simple. If you are not as time efficient as you would like, then read along and see if you can't save some time and make more money!

    Below we'll work through a few scenarios and see potentially how many pools a day poor time management is costing your company. For easy math we'll use...

  • Why Your Windows Matter

    by Alice Cunningham January 2018

    I’d like to talk about windows. Not Microsoft Windows or metaphorical windows of opportunity, but actual windows, as in your storefront windows.

    My husband Blair and I were in San Francisco awhile back, riding a cable car on California Street. It struck me that every fourth or fifth shop had clean sparking windows, but all the rest were dirty and dingy. "Who would want to go into places that look so uninviting?" I wondered.

    I’ll admit that I’m passionate about clean windows....

  • 2018 Retail Forecast

    by Phillip M. Perry January 2018

    More fair weather ahead: That's the short, sweet economic forecast for 2018. Retailers should benefit from an improving employment picture, growing disposable consumer income and an easy credit environment.

    "The United States economy continues to power forward," says Sophia Koropeckyj, managing director...

  • The Magic Words in Business: "Thank You"

    by Alice Cunningham December 2017

    When you’re selling hot tubs, you’re dealing with customers making a big investment, who often bring big expectations to the table. Sometimes, they might show up with significant problems or complaints. You get to control how that conversation goes by the way you respond. My advice: Hear them out and thank them for their input. Even if you can’t immediately solve the issue, you can maintain a positive relationship.

    The first step is to listen actively — not defensively — to what...