Swimming Pool and Spa Retailers

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 10,000 swimming pool and spa retailers in the US sell above ground pools, hot tubs, and related equipment, supplies, and merchandise. Other merchandise categories include backyard and patio furniture, grills, and saunas. Firms may also offer pool and hot tub maintenance, repair, construction, or renovation services.

Seasonal Demand

Demand for pool and spa supplies is highly seasonal and dependent on climate and weather conditions in a particular geographical area.

Energy Efficiency

Interest in cost savings and energy conservation has encouraged pool owners to investigate more efficient equipment.

Industry size & Structure

The average swimming pool and spa retailer employs 32 workers and generates about $500,000 in annual revenue.

    • The swimming pool and spa retail industry generates approximately $5 billion in annual revenue. An estimated 4,500 retailers sell spas, according to PK Data. The swimming pool equipment and supply retail industry consists of an estimated 5,500 stores, although the degree of overlap between swimming pool and spa retailing is unknown.
    • The industry is highly fragmented and dominated by independent operators and franchisees that operate within a limited geographical market.
    • About 8% of US households have a backyard swimming pool (in or above ground), according to PK Data.
    • The pool and spa industry's installation base in the US consists of 10.4 million residential pools, 7.3 million hot tubs, and about 309,000 public pools, according to the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP).
    • 36% of above ground pool owners are college graduates, while 46-49% of inground pool and hot tub owners are college graduates.
    • Mean buyer is age 45 to 55. Mean income of $79,000 for above ground pool owners. Mean income $134,000 for inground pool and $75,000 for hot tub owners.
    • About 60% of consumer spending in the pool industry is for maintenance and minor repair of existing swimming pools.
    • Leslie's Poolmart is the largest retailer of pool supplies and has over 930 stores in 37 states. Pinch a Penny is the largest franchised pool and spa care company nearly 260 stores located primarily in the Southeast.
                              Industry Forecast
                              Swimming Pool and Spa Retailers Industry Growth
                              Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                              Recent Developments

                              Feb 24, 2023 - Demand Growing for Pool Covers
                              • Demand for automatic pool covers is skyrocketing in warm-weather markets, especially in drought-ridden states and communities where regulations increasingly require a pool cover for safety or energy conservation, according to a report in AQUA Magazine. The US Department of Energy says that automatic pool covers can reduce the amount of make-up water needed by up to 50% and reduce a pool’s chemical consumption by up to 60%. The estimated savings from an automatic pool cover in colder markets can save $3,000 annually. Some pool cover makers say that buyers are purchasing covers as an environmental decision, similar to consumers choosing to buy an electric car. During the pandemic boom, the industry struggled with supply and labor shortages. Some labor shortages remain. The report noted that some pool builders who would install covers on their projects choose to subcontract the work due to increased demand and lack of labor.
                              • Nearly 60% of small business owners reported hiring or trying to hire staff in January 2023, up two points from the previous month, according to the monthly jobs report from the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB). Of those companies hiring or trying to hire, 91% of owners reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. About 24% of owners reported labor quality as their top business operating problem, and 10% reported labor costs as a top concern. According to NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg, “The labor shortage continues to be a major concern for small businesses in the New Year as nearly all owners trying to hire are reporting no or few qualified applicants. Small businesses’ sales opportunities are limited because of the staffing shortage but owners continue to make changes in business operations to compensate.”
                              • The swimming pool market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 2.6% from 2021 to 2026, an increase of $4.6 billion, according to a Technavio report in Yahoo Finance. North America will account for 42% of the pool market’s growth during the forecast period, with the US and Canada being the key countries for growth. The increase in North America will be driven by the growth in population, technological advances, and higher demand for energy-efficient pumps. Market challenges include high installation and maintenance costs, as well as water scarcity due to environmental factors.
                              • Rising costs of borrowing are showing signs of slowing the boom in home improvement spending that began in the early days of the pandemic, according to The Wall Street Journal. While home values have moderated somewhat, homeowner equity is near all-time highs. However, sharply higher interest rates make borrowing against that equity through cash-out refinancings more expensive. Volatility in the stock market and inflation also tend to make consumers feel less well-off and make them more hesitant to tackle costly renovations.
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