Despite a worldwide financial crisis and resulting recession, hot tub sales in 2010 have amazingly ridden the economic storm with surprising buoyancy (excuse the pun!) writes Nick Clamp, Editor-in-Chief of WhatSpa? Magazine.
“At the beginning of the year just about everyone in the UK hot tubs industry was on tenterhooks regarding the general state of the economy and how would affect big ticket retail sales in general and hot tub sales in particular” says Nick
He goes on “the economic media were stirring up a storm and scaring us to the point of retail petrification…throw in the uncertainty of a mid-year General Election and there is little wonder that all retailers were nervous about the months ahead.
“Thankfully with the benefit of hindsight, the hot tub industry’s worries were misfounded and 2010 has been a very bright year. There were casualties and business failures in 2008 and 2009 and the industry is still right-sizing for its current scope which is probably half the size of its early noughties highs in unit volume terms. The hot tub retailers that remain in the UK are now those businesses that are seriously in it for the long term future and we are rid of the quick buck merchants who saw the hot tub industry as the route to an instant fortune” says Nick.
He explains “We are by no means out of the woods yet with some serious fallout from the Coalition Government’s austerity measures to come, but with over 200,000 hot tubs now in homes and gardens around the UK, the word of mouth is very much out there from owners who love their hot tubs. With plenty of stress to come, there’s no better way to escape the woes of the day than with a relaxing dip in the warm swirling water of your very own hot tub”.
Holiday cottage rental agencies are reporting that availability of hot tubs is now officially top of the list from holidaymakers. A survey of 5 rental agencies across England, Wales and Scotland has revealed that hot tubs are now top of their lists.
â€œLog cabins are a close second to hot tubs but I think people on holiday like the thought of having a little extra luxury when they rent somewhere and the hot tub seems to be top of their wish listsâ€ said a spokesman for the research.
At this time of financial downturn, coupled with very poor tourist exchange rates against the Dollar and Euro, more and more people are forsaking foreign climes and turning to home for this kind of property for short breaks and holidays; so if you own, manage, or let such a property and you are not offering hot tubs in your facility, contact your local WhatSpa Approved supplier now and have a chat with them about ensuring your competitors are not stealing a march on you.
Holiday lodge hot tubs are easy to install and maintain and recent research shows that hot tubs not only attract premium rental rates but also help to ensure maximum occupancy rates, which is vital in today’s economic climate. For more information about the hot tubs that are currently available visit www.whatspa.co.uk
BBC Stoke & Staffordshire have reported today that Trading Standards has allegedly started a criminal investigation into the sales practices of a Staffordshire hot tub supplier.
It said hundreds of customers had complained about Trade Price Group because of the quality of the products and delivery delays of up to 10 months.
A group of about 20 customers staged a protest outside the company’s offices in Rugeley on Thursday.
The firm denied wrongdoing and said it was being subjected to a hate campaign.
Andrew Foulkes, from Sheffield, was at the protest on Thursday and said: “I’m here to try and get my money back.”
He ordered a product in March and said he had repeatedly been told since then that it was in stock but had still not received it.
“It’s still in China they tell me. Repeated phone calls, repeated promises, nothing ever materialises.”
Ricky Rigby, from Brownhills in Walsall, West Midlands, said: “It took me two-and-a-half years to get my money back. Two-and-a-half years of headache court costs. They shouldn’t be allowed to get away with what they get away with.”
Trading standards said it had persuaded Trade Price Group to enter into a voluntary agreement in 2009 to change how it operates.
Brian Mycock, from Staffordshire Trading Standards, said: “When we monitored it in the following months we found that they hadn’t really changed their business practices.
“Because of that we decided to launch a criminal investigation into their sales methods [and] business activity.”
Trade Price Group said it was taking legal action against a number of its customers.
A statement from the firm said: “Trade Price Group has been subject to a long standing hate campaign, comprising e-mail abuse, internet abuse, harassment, and illegal threats.”
The statement continued: “Trade Price Group acknowledges that some customers have expressed a preference to cancel their orders.
“Where that has happened, and it has determined that they are entitled to do so, Trade Price Group has made those refunds.
“Trade Price Group has never failed to deliver hot tubs to any of its customers that have not been subject to a refund or order cancellation.
“It refutes and vociferously denies any allegation that it has in the past, or currently, demonstrated any purposeful intent to mislead or defraud its customers out of their money.”
The firm claimed a protest group had engaged in “Harassment, intimidation and threats to employees’ families.”
It said the campaign against it was led by a retail competitor.
One of the protesters, Kay Waterman, from Southampton, said: “With the greatest respect I would like to see some evidential proof against myself personally.
“I don’t know any members or friends with claims nationwide who have harassed in any way shape or form their children or members of their family.”
Ms Waterman received a full refund from the company and has since set up her own business importing hot tubs.
The trading standards investigation into Trade Price Group is continuing.
Despite more straitened economic conditions, sales of hot tubs in the UK have been extremely buoyant in 2010, WhatSpa Magazine can reveal. This is proof positive that UK homeowners continue to be switched on to the array of health benefits that owning a good quality hot can deliver, not to mention being a great source of fun for the whole family.
We have all been bombarded with the latest on-trend phrases such as ‘staycation’ which is widely used to describe holidaying here in the UK rather than jetting off to exotic overseas resorts. But under the radar, many UK families have been forfeiting their expensive annual holiday in favour of investing in good quality hot tubs to facilitate all-year-round family fun and relaxation for the next 15-20 years.
The latest domestic hot tubs are stuffed with state-of-the-art equipment and jets that make conventional health club spas look plainly amateurish, and they deliver fantastic hydrotherapeutic massage along with all of the associated health benefits. Whether you are looking for stress relief, better sleep, relief from aches and pains or just plain fun, get down to your local hot tub retail showroom this weekend and check out the latest hot tubs. You won’t be disappointed!
Despite a dire couple of years for the economy in general, growth in the hot tub market has continued to march on as positive word of mouth from the ever growing number of UK hot tubbers continues to drive demand. The number of hot tub dealers has declined slightly due to the lack of banking support for small businesses but this has not dampened the enthusiasm of families who are looking to create their very own “staycation” haven in their own homes.
With the addition of a hot tub adding thousands of pounds to the value of a homes, there is little wonder that homeowners are opting for this all-year-round investment in quality leisure time rather than splashing out on exotic holidays to far flung destinations. With the pound now weaker than a proverbial fluffy kitten, hot tubs continue to be an attractive alternative to expensive holidays abroad. 2010 has already seen a 25% increase in UK demand for hot tubs and there is no sign of a slow down with the promise of a summer of outdoor fun with the World Cup Finals on the horizon.