In the last decade, the swimming pool industry has been consistent; a slight increase or decrease, same problems, and change; then came 2020.
The Pandemic brought the world to a halt. It generated unprecedented demands for backyard pools, and at the same time, created major supply problems in the industry. Clients asked for more heaters, filters, spas, accessories, and outdoor living products. Limited supplies with increased demand, shipping problems, and issues due to COVID restrictions surprised most manufacturers.
There was so much going on:
- Builders’ costs went up dramatically, but they raised prices to compensate, and then some. Companies completely revamped their systems to deal with the strange new COVID conditions.
- Workers had to stay home to monitor kids out of school.
- Restrictions limited customers from visiting pool companies and their showrooms.
Despite the many strange sights in 2020, it turned into one of the busiest years in the swimming pool industry’s history.
Building Swimming Pools in Times of Pandemic
Despite COVID disrupting the swimming pool industry schedules, 66% of pool company owners reported that they had only minor problems while having their employed crews do the job. However, the remaining 34% said that the delays in manufacturers, logistics, and getting pools ready on time fell hard for subcontractors. During this time many employees had to quarantine, which delayed the construction process even further.
Swimming pool service companies have seen drastic increases in both the cost of labor and in materials. Due to the continued increase in costs, the price for swimming pools has continued to increase since the beginning of the pandemic.
In the COVID year, some consumers were desperate to get a pool in their backyard. To their surprise, they found a waitlist that stretched for months and even more than a year for some pool builders. Unfortunately, this long waitlist may remain for some time to come for many pool builders.
A Dramatic Change
According to experts, at least 60% identified permanent changes in the pool industry. When the Pandemic took over, we made many adjustments to accommodate employees to continue working from their homes, meetings with clients via Zoom and, creating innovative ways to keep the customers happy.
According to experts in the industry:
- 55% say that it changed the way they handle customers.
- 42% say that it changed in managing logistics and supplies. For example, some companies increased inventory and equipment to help guarantee supply for future projects.
- 41% say it changed in managing employees.
- 33% say it changed in qualifying leads/calls.
- 29% say it changed in receiving leads/calls.
- 17% say they did not change at all.
- 8% say they did changes, but different from the regular daily functions.
Supply and Demand
While the pool building orders rise, manufacturers and producers of pool supplies had problems keeping up with demand. A widening gap between available labor to build swimming pools has created production delays. In addition, the pool construction and pool service industries continue to struggle with rising costs for essential materials such as PVC pipe, valves, tile, heaters, concrete, the list goes on and on.
What the Future Holds
Despite manufacturing and building delays, the pool market continues to boom. After all, adding an oasis represents a value increase and spending time with family and friends.