In The News: June 2009

IM3 Launches Online "Used Spa Lot"

The Integrated Marketing Firm - IM3 - recently launched the first of several niche Web initiatives, bringing the "used car lot" concept to the Web to market used hot tubs. While dealers take in several used tubs on trade, many don't have the floor traffic to turn the used inventory.

IM3 launched on an e-commerce platform, giving users the functionality of popular auction sites without the auction, says Dave Frakes, CEO.

Online shoppers can search for products across the country and click "Buy It Now" or "Make an Offer." Future upgrades to the site will include links to receive freight quotes, extended warranty information, water-care-expert locator, and service/installation locators.

"Unlike auction sites and Craigslist, provides basic information buyers will need and links to experts that can help them once they get their spa home," says Frakes.

For more information visit

Pristiva, PoolCorp Strike Distribution Agreement

Pristiva, a subsidiary of Compass Minerals, recently announced a distribution agreement with PoolCorp. Under the agreement, PoolCorp will be the exclusive wholesale distributor of Pristiva products to the U.S. market.

"PoolCorp provides unequaled, comprehensive service - from receiving and fulfilling orders to providing product and customer support - to the 38,000 builders, service technicians and speciality pool retailers in the U.S.," says Bob Harper, Pristiva general manager.

"Our arrangement with PoolCorp will make Pristiva available in the shortest amount of time and most efficient means possible to the growing number of saltwater pools in the U.S. By creating breakthrough products that set the new standard for saltwater pool care, and making them widely available through PoolCorp's vast network, we're creating new growth and profit opportunities for pool builders, retailers and service technicians."

SwimWays Acquires CoopSport International

SwimWays recently announced the acquisition of the company name and product line of CoopSport. The combined entity will operate under SwimWays ownership. Under the terms of the transaction, Coop will become a wholly owned subsidiary of SwimWays with both the SwimWays and Coop names retained.

"SwimWays' goal is to continue to provide the most-entertaining and fun products that feature only the very best value and quality," says David Arias, Swimways president. "The addition of the Coop brand provides us with an opportunity to offer consumers an extended range of exciting innovative products and expand our presence in the marketplace."

Scott Cooper, president of Coop, will continue in product development of the Coop Division of SwimWays.

The acquisition joins CoopSportInternational with two brands currently held by SwinWays Corp.: SwimWays and Kelsyus.

Sunrise Acquires Tatum Operating Assets

Sunrise Spas announces the acquisition of the operating assets of Tatum Manufacturing. Sunrise will now produce Tatum's Freestyle and other hot tub brands.

Sunrise will continue to produce its Sunrise Spas, Paragon Spas and Whitewater Spas brands out of its Grimsby, Ontario, plant. It will produce the assets acquired by Tatum out of a new plant in Lakeland, Fla.

"Like many industries, it is no secret the spa industry is under stress," says Jack Layfield, president of Sunrise Spas. "This acquisition and planned operation of manufacturing and distribution in both the U.S. and Canada helps us in several ways.

"Not only do we expand our product offerings to reach more customers, thereby helping us meet our growth targets, but a plant on either side of the U.S./Canadian border allows us to hedge against currency fluctuations for more stable pricing. In addition, we can better service our customers in both markets because each facility will produce for itself and the other, and act as a distributor for the other."

The Lakeland location is also home to Outback Essentials, a spa cabinet manufacturer and testing facility for many spa industry OEMs. The two companies will remain separate legal entities.

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