SOI Retail Report: Confidence in Numbers

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Pool and spa retailers had another excellent year in 2019, leading up to the pandemic disruption. We found in our State of the Industry retail survey that 55% of respondents felt "very comfortable" about the future of the industry. This statistic holds more weight this year, as retailers deal with the after-effects of the Coronavirus shutdown.

The following pages depict the calm before the storm, an honest account of pool and spa retail in 2019.

Throughout the survey, respondents noted that, now more than ever, customers are drawn to convenience. In response, retailers are implementing texting services, pushing automation and expanding their e-commerce presence (58% of retailers are currently online or working on an online site). There is also a large percentage of retailers (60%) that either already off er buyonline-pickup-in-store services or hope to implement it into their business.

We asked survey respondents what questions customers are asking. The most popular one reported: "Why can I get this product online for less?"

In response to retailers' concerns about competition from the internet, this year, the Big 3 (Zodiac, Hayward and Pentair) took steps to amend their trade-only programs by taking SKUs offline, raising prices and/or amending warranty plans. Have these changes been helpful to brick-and-mortar dealers? — 47% percent of survey takers said yes, with one reporting this action was the "biggest reason equipment sales have increased."

Overall, dealers reported another strong year, which you can see for yourself. Read on for more of this year's findings.


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