While pool and spa dealers remain busy, it appears that the unprecedented demand they have been wrestling with over the past few years is, according to our survey respondents, starting to level off. A quarter of respondents said 2022 revenues have decreased from the year before. The pressure to stay on top of inventory — as well as the need to communicate price increases to customers — remains prevalent, but 77% of survey takers said that products are, at least, easier to source now.
It appears that dealers feel somewhat cautious about the 2023 busy season, with 42% reporting they are unsure of how their season will go — and 16% feel pessimistic, stating they will have to tighten the belt. Some spent too much on inventory over the pandemic period — taking whatever they could get their hands on. Others are cutting inventory to increase their advertising budget, something many pool and spa retailers did not have to think about in recent years.
In the hot tub sector, we found that customers are growing more interested in a hot tub’s energy efficiency over its ease-of-use and technology. They still favor add-ons, the most popular being cover lifters and spa steps.