America’s Swimming Pool Company was recently featured on aquamagazine.com in a piece titled “ State Of The Industry Survey: Service Sector — The Star of the Recession “. The article discusses the state of the pool industry, with service leaders in the industry giving their personal assessments about the overall health and outlook moving into the future. Founder and President of ASP Stewart Vernon discussed how the consumer is feeling more confident about the economy than the past 2-3 years as seen in recent spending on backyard activities. . Click here to read the entire article.
However, many of these homeowners already owned pools and tubs, and it made sense to continue to maintain them. So service departments at pool retail stores were generally able to avoid personnel cuts, and sole proprietors cautiously reported stable earnings. Some were even able to raise prices a little, despite the mass layoffs and dreadful economic news of the early recession.
As the recession wore on, money and relative success being an attractive force, other pool and spa professionals (and even newly unemployed people from outside the industry, some unable to tell a pool from a pole) began jumping into the service business, leading to a dramatic increase in competition that continues to this day.
As we open the swimming season in 2012, the overall health of the service industry is good, and there is reason to hope it will get even better.
The economy remains a mixed bag. Many areas of the country are still suffering recession-like effects, but that has been a constant refrain for at least four years. Mingling with it now are strong statements by servicers seeing signs of real growth for the first time.
“The economy has picked up,” said one service pro. Another attributed his better profitability to an “improving local economy and aging of equipment in service area.”
Perhaps the most enthusiastic assessment came from Stewart Vernon, founder and president of ASP, Macon, Ga., a swimming pool service franchise company with 93 locations ranging from Dallas to D.C.