How a Top Hot Tub Retailer is Dealing With Post-Pandemic Challenges—And Opportunities

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In this Q&A, Jay Gavin, owner of award-winning Aqua Paradise, sat down with Pool and Spa Professional to discuss how his 2022 is shaping up, addressing service shortages and advice for other retailers to achieve success this year.

With four locations in Southern California— San Diego, Carlsbad, Rancho Bernardo and Mission Viejo—Aqua Paradise isn’t your typical hot tub retailer.

In fact, Aqua Paradise is in Jacuzzi’s exclusive Gold Members Club, which ranks it as one of the highest volume Jacuzzi hot tub dealers worldwide. It also received multiple Jacuzzi’s customer service excellence awards.

Aqua Paradise achieved its success through aggressive expansion, top-notch customer service and savvy marketing. In this Fast 5, Jay Gavin, owner of Aqua Paradise, sat down with Pool and Spa Professional to discuss how his 2022 is shaping up, the main challenges he faces—and the biggest opportunities.

1. What are the biggest challenges hot tub retailers are facing in 2022?

Now that demand is slowing, ramping up our marketing efforts is going to be a major focus in 2022. That also means keeping showrooms up to date with the latest RVD (Retail Visual Design)—point of purchase and marketing materials that might show hot tub installs, or a particular feature, etc. The biggest challenge however is on the service end.  With all the new product to deliver—and then when all that product has been delivered and needs maintenance or service—getting enough service personnel trained and in the field has been an enormous task.  It goes way beyond that though. With all of those deliveries and new customers, you have a huge demand for chemicals and accessories which means space and logistics to deal with.

2. How are you dealing with those challenges?

We have made a major expansion to our service and parts department. We have tripled our staff and are currently looking for an additional warehouse just for covers and hot tubs.

3. What advice would you have for other hot tub retailers who are facing similar challenges?

The more quality staff you can acquire, the easier your life will be.  Everything moves more smoothly, and everyone is far more productive if they aren’t overworked.

4. What are the biggest opportunities for 2022?

I think there is a lot of fatigue out there.  It has been, and continues to be, tough for everyone in our industry.  We need to be diligent and keep our foot on the gas pedal and let those that decide to take a break fall into our rearview mirror.

5. What are you most hopeful about?

We have a lot of irons in the fire.  New locations, new website, new outside events, new staff. All you can do is plan thoughtfully and hope the execution for those plans is successful.

 

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