RECENT ARTICLES
  • Swimming Pools: Gone to the Dogs

    by Dana Robinson September 2018

    Most people who invest in a backyard pool have done so for two reasons. 1) They love entertaining and being outdoors. 2) The pool is a great place to spend time with family — and sometimes, those family members are of the four-legged variety.

    Many people consider their pets to be full-fledged members of the family, with all the rights and privileges thereof. That includes a seat in the car on family vacations, annual birthday celebrations (complete with bone-shaped birthday cakes)...

  • Consumers Projected to Buy Big-Ticket Items This Holiday Season

    by Abigail Carpenter September 2018

    New data released from Adobe Analytics this month should leave pool and spa retailers hopeful for high holiday sale numbers this season. According to the report, not only are retail sales up 23 percent, or $2.08 billion, from last year, shoppers are also purchasing big-ticket items.

    “The numbers bear out that we’re in for a good holiday season,” Adobe’s Director of Retail Industry Strategy Michael Klein told the Los Angeles Times. “Consumers were shopping for larger and more...

  • The Unbeatable In-Store Experience

    by Barrett Kilmer September 2018

    Spa and pool retailers aren’t the only ones getting beat up by online competition. In fact, most retail categories fare far worse than we do. Few, however, have suffered like the local record store.

    There was a time when every decent-sized city across the country had several record stores, but today the number has dwindled. Etail giants like Amazon struck the first blow by selling on low margins and delivering to doorsteps, then streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music...

  • The AQUA Truck & Van Contest Returns

    by AQUA Editors September 2018

    After sharing the winners of the first-ever Truck & Van contest, we were flooded with feedback. In particular: “When is this contest coming back so I can enter?”

    Now, in fact — we’re excited to announce we’re bringing the Truck & Van contest back for another spin.

    This year, entries will be accepted on a rolling basis through June 1, 2019. (If you're planning a wrap redesign sometime this...

  • Selling as an Exit Strategy

    by Daniel Seeger September 2018

    Rod Sterling tells a story about a family-owned pool and spa business in which the married proprietors were getting ready to retire. They had two stores and owned the building where the main business resided. Although they had rock-solid financial planning in most areas of their lives, the worth of their business was a complete mystery to them.

    “They were ready to close the door and throw the keys away,” Sterling recalls.

    As the president and founder of Sterling Advisory...

  • A Succulent Way to Attract Millennials

    by Kathryn Howard August 2018

    When patio pleasures Pools & Spas renovated its showroom earlier this year, it gained more than floorspace and a new look. Casual living products and on-trend decor items were also added to the product mix, as well as a build-your-own-succulent bar, an interactive attraction that will be a regular fixture in the showroom.

    “It first started with my own personal passion with succulents,” says Rene Huston, president of Patio Pleasures (Sun Prairie, Wis.). Huston got into succulents...

  • The Better Way to Train New Hires

    by Erik Taylor August 2018

    "All things are not created equal." We've all heard the phrase, right? Well, when it comes to hiring new service technicians, all things are definitely not created equal.

    See, most pool companies train new hires in the same way every time. But think of the chain pool and spa stores that have locations all over the...

  • Finding Efficiencies

    by Eric Herman August 2018

    There’s nothing ambiguous about saving energy. Whether out of concern for the environment or simply a desire to save money (or both), reducing energy consumption is always a good idea.

    When it comes to pools and spas, they can go either way. Poorly constructed and improperly equipped man-made bodies of water can squander tremendous amounts of energy both in heating and electricity, sometimes causing great frustration for owners when it comes time to pay the monthly electric and/or...

  • Are We There Yet?

    by Bil Kennedy August 2018

    Anyone who has raised children remembers the familiar refrain. No more than an hour into any road trip, there comes a small voice from the back of the car: "Are we there yet?" Which is shortly followed by, "How soon before we get to (Grandma's house, the lake, Disney World, etc.)?"

    I still hear that a lot. Not from my children, who are grown and on their own. No, today those plaintiff calls are from pool industry stakeholders asking if this is the year the business returns to those...

  • Not So Cryptic After All

    by Kathryn Howard August 2018

    The way we pay for goods and services is rapidly changing. The checkbook is fading into obsolescence, and even the familiar credit and debit cards are slowly being...