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49-53 POOL TRENDS:SPN Master pages 19/11/08 01:46 Page 1
spnfeature
Pool trends for 2009
“like musical chairs”
Everyone is going
after a chair that
belongs to someone
H
E
else say under
A
I
N
G
A
pressure pool builders.
There’s more
09
D
K
O
O
L
O
T
diversification and
more chasing new
markets but it’s a
buyers market and
there’s also signs that
some sectors could
even flourish in 2009
U
K pool builders say the trend for used to belong to
business in 2009 is a lot like musical someone else.
chairs. While some
As new-pool prospects become suggest become a number one priority.
increasingly scarce in almost every sector that So although the renovation market has
of the market with the exception of the service dropped, it remains far stronger than new
very top end, then pool renovation, better and pool construction.
service and diversifying continue to thrive. renovation can Pool builders have the benefit of
One Sussex pool builder told us, “Over support existing customer bases. In some cases,
70% of the market is now composed of everyone, others the homeowners won’t even place their
maintenance, repair and refurbishment think their prospects are being squeezed. renovation work up for bid, but instead
jobs. These have continued to grow And all agree that the current situation has stick with familiar companies.
because there are fewer pools every year. I invited even more unlicensed and “We’re not competing with five or six or
think all of us are saying it will be 2011 unqualified companies to join the fray. even 10 competitors,” says Ron
now before there’s any real spending The UK pool building market is showing Robertson, of Robertson Pools, “We’re
confidence so in the meantime we have to clear similarities to its United States probably only in there with two people,
find other opportunities.” counterpart. In Britain now it’s clear that and maybe nobody because you built the
Certainly refurbishment has become a builders who targeted new pools in the pool for them.”
prime target for besieged pool builders trying past have accepted there will be fewer However, even with this advantage,
to save their businesses during one of the opportunities over the next year or two. So service companies often are not in the
worst downturns in industry history. The the strategy of going back to renovate running for more complex jobs.
result? Everyone is going after a chair that pools built 10 or even 20 years ago has Renovation work generally falls outside
their realm of proficiency, so they usually
“…ALL AGREE THAT THE CURRENT
need to hire subcontractors, which in turn
prices them out of this particularly
SITUATION HAS INVITED EVEN MORE
competitive market.
As increasing parts of the industry
UNLICENSED AND UNQUALIFIED
really feel the squeeze, trade association
SPATA has been quick to say there’s
COMPANIES TO JOIN THE FRAY”
never been a better time to belong to
their trade association.
Visit our website at www.swimmingpoolnews.co.uk DECEMBER 08 swimming pool news 49
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