The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA), the trade association representing the swimming pool, hot tub, and spa industry, released its first of a series of Quarterly Pulse Reports this past week. The results came from PHTA’s new quarterly industry survey to capture the sentiment of pool and spa executives about their company’s performance compared to previous quarters, with a look ahead at how they think their company will perform in the future quarter. The report shows overall steady growth for the first half of 2023 and a promising outlook for the start of 2024.
To launch this research program and develop a long-term measurement of sentiment and performance in the pool and hot tub industry, PHTA launched the Q1 and Q2 Pulse Surveys combined. PHTA members immediately understood the value of the data, and more than 200 companies participated across all sectors — build, retail, service, maintenance and hot tubs across all regions.
In this inaugural Quarterly Pulse Report, both PHTA members and non-members reveal that 48% of pool and spa companies saw a revenue increase year-over-year when comparing the second quarter of 2022 to the second quarter of 2023, with 19% seeing significant increases of 10% or more growth. Conversely, 34% saw declines, and 18% remained essentially unchanged.
At the same time, 86% of pool and spa companies maintained or increased staff during this time to meet ongoing client demands that had soared during the pandemic.
“The numbers in our first Quarterly Pulse Report confirm the anecdotal information we have been hearing from our members, that demand has slowed since the pandemic, but business seems to be returning to typical cyclical patterns,” says PHTA Chairman of the Board Charlie Claffey, president of Claffey Pools in Southlake, Texas. “Rather than a negative trend, we see this as the predicted end of an unprecedented event – the pandemic – and we all expect performance to return to historical norms. We are pleased to be able to provide this valuable business insight to our members and the industry at large. We thank each and every one of our members that participated, and we continue to encourage heightened participation in the Quarterly Pulse Surveys.”
As the economy has slowed, backlogs for new pool and spa construction have declined. However, revenue from remodels increased for 59% of pool and spa companies, with 31% of respondents seeing revenue growth above 6% in the second quarter of 2023. At the same time, backlogs for pool remodels have increased for more than 43% of companies, with an additional 39% remaining essentially unchanged.
Additionally, 71% of service companies reported an increase in calls as well, while another 24% remained largely unchanged.
The outlook for pool and spa companies over the next 12 months looks promising, with 68% of respondents anticipating revenue will remain the same or increase. The top two issues weighing on the minds of respondents are the economy, including inflation and interest rates, and the ability to recruit and retain staff.
PHTA is currently conducting the Quarterly Pulse Survey for the third quarter of 2023. This survey is open to all industry professionals in build, retail, service, maintenance and hot tubs. PHTA expects to have Q3 results by the end of November 2023. To participate and receive a customized benchmark report, go to phtainsights.com by October 31.