Hot outlook

An extremely positive economic outlook continued to ramp up business and consumer confidence and retailing profitability throughout the autumn and into winter.

Thoughts of austerity measures have melted away thanks to the warmest year on record, rising employment and the declaration by British companies that they are feeling more confident than at any time in the past 22 years.

In a major boost for the economy, companies throughout the UK have reported that they are making plans to increase their staff levels after revealing their optimism with improved sales, orders and profits for the second half of the year.

According to the 1,500 responses highlighted in the Business in Britain report from Lloyds Bank there is confidence throughout companies of all sizes and industry sectors in all of the regions in the UK. The report’s confidence index was at its strongest level since the twice-yearly study was first launched in 1992.

“This confidence marks an all-time survey high,” said Managing Director SME and mid markets banking at Lloyds Banking Group Tim Hinton.

“We hope that it will lead to a further improvement in economic activity for the second half of 2014 to allow businesses to grow and prosper.”

Meanwhile a study by the CBI and accountants PwC revealed solid growth predictions from financial services companies. It also reported that the companies taking part in the survey were preparing to invest in computer systems and marketing activities. Like other sectors, they also indicated that they would be increasing staff levels.

Even though the pound continued to perform strongly, firms have declared that they will gain an increase in exports during this year, boosted by increased European activity.

Employment boost

In the middle of September it was reported that inflation had dropped from 1.6 per cent to 1.5 per cent and the Prime Minister David Cameron seized on the latest employment figures as proof that his Government’s policies were working during the largest annual fall in unemployment since 1988.

The Office for National Statistics revealed a fall of 468,000 from the jobless figures and that there were only 2.02 million people unemployed between April and June and 30.61million people in work. Also, the number of people working part-time who want to be in full-time employment is down to 1.3million people and this is the lowest level since 2011.

“We had a long term economic plan, we stuck to that plan and you can see that plan is working,” said Mr Cameron.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady accepted that more people are working but declared that growth based on more low-paid jobs was not working for Britain.

“We need jobs that ensure everyone gets a fair share in the growing economy through real increases to their wage,” he said.

Labour Shadow Employment Minister Stephen Timms added: “Under this Government wages after inflation have already fallen by over £1,600 a year since 2010 and by next year working people will have seen the biggest fall in wages of any Parliament since 1874.”

In an additional boost for employment figures, Amazon, which employs 1,700 people in its offices in London and Slough, announced that a new London base would create an extra 3,000 jobs.

The online retail giant reported that it has signed a deal with developer Brookfield to become the main occupier of the 600,000 sq ft 15-storey Principal Place office building in the technology quarter of Shoreditch.

“We have secured this exceptional building giving us the capacity to hire thousands of new employees in London in the coming years,” revealed Managing Director Christopher North; “In addition to the thousands of permanent roles we will create across our UK fulfilment and customer service centres.”

Rate abolished

During the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham Chancellor George Osborne revealed he will be abolishing the 55 per cent tax rate applied to pension funds left by savers to their children and announced plans for freezing benefit levels to millions of families if the Tories win the next election.

Spouses and financially dependent children under 23-years-old are currently exempt from the tax, which will cost £150million a year once it is scrapped as hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries gain more spending power.

Under the new system, from April 2015, if the person who dies is 75 or over their beneficiaries only have to pay their usual income tax rate when they withdraw the funds, as is the case with any pension.

“This makes pensions more attractive than ever before,” said pension adviser to the Government Dr Ros Altmann; “Retirees will have a real incentive to keep money in their pension funds.”

The Chancellor and Prime Minister also made a joint statement declaring that the annual household benefits cap would be reduced by £3,000 to £23,000 from the previous £26,000.

Mr Osborne warned that billions of pounds would need to be cut from the benefits budget as part of continued austerity measures to balance the books; instead of further taxation.

“The idea of taxing your way out of the deficit no longer exists,” declared Mr Osborne; “If it ever did. The problem of a modern country like Britain is not that it taxes too little, it is that it spends too much.”

Rewarding workers

There was a further boost for consumer spending when the Prime Minister made a bumper £7billion pledge to hard workers to cut tax and allow 30million people to retain more of their money.

He promised to raise the tax-free allowance from £10,500 to £12,500 before 2020; while revealing that the threshold for the 40p income tax rate is set to be raised from £41,900 to £50,000 if the Tories gain power after the next election.

“Once you have a job, I want you to take home more of your own money,” said Mr Cameron; “If you put in, you should get out – not hand so much of it to the taxman. We need tax cuts for hardworking people.

“I have a specific commitment. Today, the minimum wage reaches £6.50 an hour, and before long we’ll reach our next goal of £7.

“I can tell you now that a future Conservative Government will raise the tax-free personal allowance from £10,500 to £12,500.

“So with us, if you work 30 hours a week on minimum wage, you will pay no income tax at all. Nothing. Zero, Zilch. I want to take action that’s long overdue, and bring back some fairness to tax.

“With a Conservative government, we will raise the threshold at which people pay the 40p rate. It’s currently £41,900, in the next Parliament we will raise it to £50,000.”

Analysts immediately indicated that by introducing the ‘tax-free’ policy it would take a million out of tax altogether and would boost taxpayers on low incomes; while those higher earners with incomes just over £42,000 but below the £50,000 threshold are being freed from the extra burden of the 40 per cent tax bracket.

Confidence indicator

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reported that the strongest sales total for September over any other year in the past decade was a clear indication of confidence in the UK economy.

Following the 31st consecutive monthly increase, the SMMT revealed in October that the sales total for September hit the 425,861 mark and saw strong performances by Ford and Volkswagen with their respective Fiesta, Focus, and Golf models as the final tally was 5.6 per cent up on the same period 12 months previously.

The additional monthly boost pushed overall new car sales to almost two million and an increase of 9.1 per cent over the same time in 2013 and was welcomed by SMMT chief Mike Hawes.

“Demand for the new 64-plate has been boosted by intensifying confidence in the UK economy,” he said; “With consumers attracted by a wide range of exciting, increasingly fuel-efficient new cars.

“September’s strong performance underlined the continuing robustness of the UK new car market.”

As part of a strategy to compete with the market’s success stories, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) announced that it would be tackling European losses and weakening Latin American markets by spinning off its Ferrari sports car maker by issuing £1.5billion in bonds to finance its balance sheet restructuring.

To fund a £37.9billion bid to combat rivals such as Volkswagen and Toyota, FCA revealed that it planned to float a tenth of its luxury marque in New York and on a European exchange, possibly London. According to brokers, Ferrari could have a market value of between £4billion and £4.6billion.

“As we move to secure the 2014-2018 business plan and work to maximise the shareholder value, it is proper to pursue separate paths for FCA and Ferrari,” said FCA Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne.

Positive volumes

Later in the autumn, the CBI reported that record wholesale levels had been posted and retailers on the high-street are continuing to secure positive volumes, according to their survey findings.

In a further boost for the UK economy, currently one of the fastest growing in the G7 community, 42 per cent of retailers indicated that they expected sales volumes to increase, while 33 per cent highlighted that orders were up.

Wholesaling also continued to grow robustly, with sales growth in clothing, textiles and footwear the highest on record.

 The CBI’s Distributive Trades Survey of 123 respondents highlighted that the volume of orders placed on suppliers in the retail sector experienced strong growth. The volume of sales, covering a three month moving average, was up 30 per cent and this performance was the highest increase since February 2013.

 Most sub sectors enjoyed substantially improved growth, with department stores being the pick of the crop and performing particularly strongly.

“Solid growth continues on the high street, with most sectors doing decent business and department stores performing particularly well,” said CBI Director of Economics Rain Newton-Smith; “Retailers are expecting sales to grow again, but at a steadier pace.”

Growth success

John Lewis department stores have been among the success stories this year with sales growth of nine per cent to £1.5billion, which have been boosted by a 25 per cent increase in online sales. Profits surged to 62.2 per cent to £56.3million and it was reported that half the online traffic to the site had come via mobiles and tablets.

With strong electrical goods sales and a bonanza Christmas television advertising campaign Group Chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield revealed he was anticipating further success for tablet sales and said: “The big thing we are waiting for now is the new iPad.”

The Group also reported that revenues were up at its Waitrose supermarkets, though profits had fallen 9.4 per cent to £145million due to investment in launching new stores and online business initiatives. Revenues were up 4.2 per cent to £2.97billion.

“We are seeing good growth across the board,” said Sir Charlie; “Fresh products are selling really well.”

Consumer comfort

While the wet leisure industry was basking in the additional sales thanks to the warm autumn, fashion chain Next predicted that that future consumer confidence would continue to rise in 2015 after being forced to lower its profits guidance, following the unusually high temperatures causing a slump in demand for winter clothes.

Next Chief Executive Lord Wolfson revealed that annual profits would likely be around £770million instead of the expected £795million but predicted that the high street would be gaining a boost for the New Year, thanks to reduced food and oil prices.

He also highlighted that consumers were purchasing clothes only when they required them due to the boom in online retailing and ease of internet shopping.

“People’s access to clothing is much greater than it was ten years ago,” he said; “So they leave buying to the last minute.

 “The drop in oil and food prices is a good thing, so consumers will go into next year feeling more comfortable than they did this year.”

Retailer records

Following another exceptional year of hot tub sales, confidence is high among retailers who believe that consumers have broken free from the austerity shackles and the UK’s recession gloom has been banished with increased wet leisure spending.

HotTubSuperstoreTeamTubPicHot Tub Superstore sales went through the roof and into another stratosphere to smash previous annual totals after the stars of ITV’s documentary ‘Hot Tub Britain’ gained a staggering 450 new customers during the month that the programme was screened.

The Blackpool-based outfit got their own and the majority of the market’s cash tills ringing after the high-profile Hot Tub Britain documentary was aired in September. Due to its success, negotiations are currently taking place for a further focus on the family-run company to be shown on the History channel.

While the programme was being broadcast there were 75,000 hits on the company’s eCommerce site and 90 applications processed for finance during the hour-long insight into the day-to-day running of the multi-million-pound operation.

It has proved to be a fabulous financial boost for Dennis Holmes and his hot tub crew, including his son Dan, and son-in-law Ross Phillipson.

“The surge in demand for our hot tubs went off the scale and we sold 450 units in September alone as a result,” said Ross; “No one in the world is selling these levels of hot tub numbers in just a month.

“We had 90 online applications processed for finance while the programme was being shown and 75,000 hits on our website.

“It’s been phenomenal and this just goes to show what can be achieved when you go truly public with your business and give it this kind of exposure. You can’t get better than prime time TV.

“It has been a brilliant springboard for us to progress even further in the future. We have been increasing our growth for a decade now and nothing has changed in our strategy to keep on expanding. This golden opportunity has been the icing on the cake for us.

“We were already doing well before the documentary was shown but it has since allowed us to turbo charge into an unbelievable record-breaking sales year. Long may it continue!”

HotSpring achieved its best ever November sales in the UK thanks to the record-breaking efforts of dealers and the success of promoting a trio of models from the new Highlife Collection NXT range.

Retailing specialists at dedicated HotSpring showrooms smashed the previous highest monthly figures for November after sales were boosted throughout the year by the introduction of three cutting-edge Highlife Collection NXT models, the Jetsetter NXT, 2014 WhatSpa? Best Buy Award-winning Envoy NXT and Grandee NXT, from Watkins Manufacturing, which have been designed with input from BMW Group Designworks USA.

HotSpring UK Retail Sales, Marketing Manager Lynda Smart reported that retailers had enjoyed success with the NXT models and the entire HotSpring range this year, which has culminated in the record-breaking November sales.

“This year has been absolutely amazing for HotSpring dealers and I’m delighted to report that we achieved our best ever November sales figures in the UK,” said Lynda.

 “The new next generation Highlife Collection NXT range is absolutely stunning and the Jetsetter, Envoy and Grandee NXT models have really helped to boost our overall sales this year.

“They have been an instant success with our dealers after making an incredible impact in their showrooms. These models have really created the ‘wow’ factor’ and our best seller in this range is currently the Envoy NXT.”

The success follows HotSpring World partnering with TV programme ‘Love Your Garden’ to donate a HotSpring Vanguard hot tub to a police officer injured in the line of duty for an episode shown in the summer.

“Thanks to the improving economy and extremely good weather throughout the summer and autumn there has been very strong demand for our products in our HotSpring showrooms this year,” said Lynda; “This demand is now continuing into the winter.”

HotSpring dealer Paul Buckley at Blue Lagoon Spas has achieved record-breaking sales results every quarter this year in a new showroom location during his company’s tenth anniversary celebrations.

Paul relocated his dedicated HotSpring dealership to the MaconBusinessPark in Crewe ahead of the 2014 season, and the move has coincided with his best ever year of trading and the introduction of the latest NXT models in the Highlife collection to sit alongside the Hot Spot and Limelight range models.

As well as providing a hot tub hire service, which is fully booked up for Christmas and the New Year festive period, Paul also supplies Riptide swim spas, including the 2014 WhatSwimSpa? Best Buy Award-winning Nautilus Super Pro, as well as barrel saunas and spa gazebos.

“Last year was good and this year has been even better, following our move to new premises, with record results in every quarter,” divulged Paul.

“Our current quarter is also another record-breaker compared to past years and we could also be doing the same in our next and last quarter for our best ever financial year.”

HotSpring specialist retailer Happy Hot Tubs has certainly been living up to its name this year with a bumper crop of sales.

“It has been a really good year of sales for us,” said Sales Executive Dan Bugden; “We have performed much better than 2013.

“The beauty of being a HotSpring dealership is that we can cater for all price point demands and we’ve been achieving sales across the board. We’ve also gained a lot of high end sales from a complete mixture of age groups.”

Artesian Spas retailers in the UK have helped to generate another increase in sales for the USA manufacturer to beat last year’s total by a large margin

The multiple WhatSpa? and WhatSwimSpa? Best Buy Award-winning brand, which will be promoted at the UK Pool & Spa Expo in January, has considerably increased its 2013 sales figures thanks to the introduction of new models and the efforts of its current crop of UK dealers who are being joined by new recruits in time for the 2015 season. Swedish dealers have also achieved exceptional results this year, helping to boost European sales.

Doncaster-based Artesian Spas Director Victoria Wrigglesworth revealed that the family-run distribution company had received a high demand from people wanting to become retailers following the screening of ‘Hot Tub Britain’.

“We have had a fantastic year of sales and have surpassed our 20 per cent increase of 2013 by a big margin,” said Victoria.

“Our new models and enhancements have performed well and overall most of our UK retailers have performed well this year.

“In Europe our Swedish retailers have also done really amazing sales for us. It has become a big brand name over there after many years of building a solid foundation for the brand awareness and all of its hydrotherapy benefits.

“As a result of the Hot Tub Britain programme we have had huge amounts of calls and online applications from potential retailers and will be bringing some new dealers on board.”

Artesian Spas dealership North Spas is among the many showrooms throughout the UK  that has achieved ‘off the chart’ sales compared to last year and the dealership has been gaining strong new customer levels late into autumn, which will ensure a record-breaking sales total.

“Our Artesian Spas sales have gone off the chart this year,” said North Spas Sales Executive David Pearce; “We have very easily surpassed our target and gained much more sales than we could have anticipated, which has resulted in us achieving a record-year of sales.

 “We didn’t know what to expect at the start of the year but sales just snowballed throughout the year and then the demand in August was unbelievably high, which sent the sales for that month sailing past our previous best.

“Every year we have gained annual sales improvement but this has been the best by far. It seems that we have finally climbed out of recession and our zero per cent interest finance scheme has proved very popular this year.

“There is no stereotype of consumer at the moment and all types of people are buying hot tubs. Our customers are from every walk of life.

“Normally things go fairly quiet at the end of the year but we are still gaining good interest and sales. Our showroom is gaining good sales in the £6,000 to £7,000 price bracket at the moment.”

Vita Spa has generated another year of record-breaking sales in the UK to overtake the previous best achieved in 2013.

Exclusive distributor for the Vita Spa brand in the UK and Aqua Warehouse Managing Director Richard Hart, who will be exhibiting at the 2015 editions of the UK Pool and Spa Expo and SPATEX with his Aqua Spa Supplies range, believes that the quality of the Vita Spa brand has been instrumental in retaining longstanding dealerships that have all combined to produce back-to-back record years of achievement.

This year Richard and his dealer network in the UK have surpassed last year’s record-breaking 40 per cent increase in sales, following five consecutive years of WhatSpa? Best Buy Awards acclaim for the five-seater Elegant, targeting the sub-£5,999 price bracket.

The USA manufacturer has also received a WhatSpa? Best Buy for the six-seater Prestige, in the £6,000 to £7,999 price band, while another first has been the WhatSwimSpa? Best Buy Award recognition in the £15,000 to £22,499 price category, for the Vita Spa XSP. Aimed at consumers wanting a quality swim spa model under the £20,000 price point.

“We have had another tremendous year of sales that have helped us to surpass our 40 per cent increase that we achieved in 2013,” enthused Richard.

“All of our dealers in the UK have performed well. Thankfully we now have a loyal band of Vita Spa dealers that have really done the business this year.

“I don’t think it’s all about how many dealers you have but how many of them are quality retailers who are providing a pedigree service to their customers. That has been our aim over the years and we are now reaping the rewards for laying down a solid foundation.”

Jacuzzi Marketing Manager Paul Farrell reported that sales throughout the UK dealer network had resulted in huge growth for the multiple WhatSpa? Best Buy Award-winning brand.

“It has been really manic with very strong sales,” said Paul; “We are showing huge levels of growth. We are going in the right direction and are extremely positive about the future.”

Jacuzzi Spa and Bath Ltd Commercial Director Duncan Simcox revealed that he is confident of mirroring this financial success for Sundance Spas and its UK dealer network, following the announcement that the Yorkshire-based outfit would be launching new distribution strategy in the New Year for the brand, which is currently being distributed by independent wet leisure specialist Golden Coast.

“We see this as a major opportunity to grow the Sundance Spas brand alongside the Jacuzzi brand in the UK,” said Duncan.

Power Pool Spas revealed that they are ramping up their advertising initiatives to capitalise on the increase in demand after topping their 2013 Jacuzzi sales figures with extra sales this year.

“We have gained more sales than last year but that has been what we expected to achieve at the start of this year,” said Daniel Patterson.

“The J235 in the £6.500 price range and the J335 in the £10,000 price bracket have been our best sellers this year with the two distinctive customer groups.”

“We have now put extra flags outside the showroom and we will be launching a TV advertising campaign next year to attract more customers.”

GoldenCoast’s Managing Director Jamie Adams reported that the family-run company has no intention of seeking another hot tub distribution agreement an alternative. Instead it will be fully committed to showcasing new wet leisure and sauna products from Tylo and highlighting growth in sales during 2014 at SPATEX 2015.

“Our company is flourishing within the wet leisure market and we’ve experienced growth again this year,” said Jamie.

“Now is the time to focus on all of our positive elements of the business and we are looking forward to another appearance at SPATEX.

“You obviously never know what may happen in the future, but we are not going to be searching out contacts with other hot tub manufacturers for a distribution replacement.”

Viking Spas European distributor Anthony Schneikert is planning to expand his operation during 2015 after achieving increased sales success for the USA manufactured brand this year.

Anthony, who will be at the UK Pool & Spa Expo as an exhibitor in January, is looking to relocate to larger premises in the New Year to meet the growing demand for the Viking Spas range in Britain and accommodate his distributor services for the Alps Spas brand.

After attending the Piscine Global exhibition in Lyon to promote a France-based warehouse facility, Anthony has turned his attention to the NEC event to promote a rise in sales during the third instalment of the exhibition.

“We’ve had a very good year and now we are going to be planning further expansion,” reported Anthony.

“The intention is to move to much bigger premises in the New Year, so that we can accommodate the extra demands from our dealers.”

Deep End Pools eCommerce Sales Manager Daniel Johnson reported that sales of USA manufactured Saratoga Spas have shot over the 100 mark this year.

Daniel, who has been helping Deep End Pools to promote their exclusive fledgling distribution deal for Saratoga Spas in the UK, believes that the thoughts of austerity measures are now being put to the back of consumer’s minds and revealed that consumers are spending above their projected budgets.

“We have been doing some very good numbers consistently every month and have sold over 100 Saratoga Spas hot tubs this year,” said Daniel.

“Our interest free finance options are proving popular and people are spending above their projected budgets. I think that the austerity mindset has now slipped away.

“We are receiving a high level of enquiries from people out of the industry wanting to become dealers. At one stage recently we were getting two to three calls a week from non-dealers asking about opportunities of becoming a retailer.”

RotoSpa has reported high growth in demand from hire companies seeking out additional tub supplies from the British manufacturer to meet the booming short-term use of hot tubs during the festive period.

Currently RotoSpa has around 40 hot tub hire company customers that are servicing the increasing demand for tubs for special occasions and short-term use.

This year extra hot tubs are being ordered from the West Midlands-based factory facility to accommodate extra bookings for Christmas and New Year.

“There has certainly been an increase in the demand from hire companies for our hot tubs in the past year or so but during the autumn it has really shot up now,” said RotoSpa Sales Director Jason Smith.

“Many of our hire company customers are telling us that all of their tubs are already booked up for Christmas and New Year so they are ordering more models from us to meet the extra demand.”

Marquis Director of Global Sales Steve Hasenmueller, who will be on the Marquis exhibition stands at the UK Pool & Spa Expo and SPATEX in the New Year, has reported flourishing demand from retailers for the Dealer Direct strategy linked to a range of models from the USA manufacturer, as well as strong demand from consumers wanting the Microsilk technology in hot tubs this year.

“Our Dealer Direct strategy is really flourishing in the UK and the introduction of our entry-level product line, Celebrity Hot Tubs, has also been an effective tool for our retailer network this year,” said Steve.

“Microsilk is the real deal that has exploded in the USA for us and we will be using the UK Pool & Spa Expo and SPATEX to promote the technology and highlight that it is doing very well in UK and Europe.”

Multi-brand specialist John Roberts of Cornish Hot Tubs, whose USA brands include L.A Spas, Marquis Spas and Vita Spa, reported that sales had doubled compared to the previous 12 months.

“It has been a cracking year this time round,” divulged John; “We’ve had twice as many sales this year compare to 2013.

“All of our sales have been over the £6,000 mark and we have been doing a lot of the top-end quality models this year. Our average sales overall will be around the £7.500 figure this year.”

Endless Pools, Jacuzzi, Villeroy & Boch and Viking Spas retailer Donald Mackintosh of Pool and Spa Services by DMF Design reported that he has been servicing high demand for exercise pools this year.

“While our hot tub sales have been fairly steady we have done a lot of exercise pools sales and installations,” said Donald.

“We’ve had a really positive year with our Endless Pools models. It is a different market to hot tubs.”

Caldera Spas dealer, supplied by Certikin International, Graham Wall of Prestige Swimming Pools Ltd believes the future is looking bright for the Hampshire showroom, which also promotes Cove Spas from SCP and has an additional showroom promoting Jacuzzi in Berkshire, thanks to strong leads obtained throughout the autumn.

“Our sales have not been earth shattering this year but there has been a lot more interest from people visiting our showroom during the autumn,” said Graham.

“So things are looking good and we are confident about the New Year.”

Multi-brand retailing specialist Mark Anthony has doubled sales this year during his company’s 30th anniversary after launching the new Vista Spas brand to the market at his three showrooms.

As well as supplying Canadian and USA pedigree models from Coast Spas and Dimension One, Mark and his family-run A5 Spas dealership have also introduced the USA manufactured Vista Spas range to the market, which has achieved a 2014 WhatSpa? Best Buy for the seven-seater York model during its second year in the market.

Mark has been reaping the rewards of building solid wet leisure retailing foundations with a 100 per cent sales increase success during the past 12 months at three dedicated showrooms; including his Dordon headquarters in Warwickshire, the Pennells Garden Centre in Lincoln and a newly-launched site at the Albert Bygrave Centre.

“It’s been amazing year and we are 100 per cent up on our sales totals from 2013,” said Mark.

“While we have continued to have great success with Coast Spas and Dimension One Spas brands, for us the Vista Spas range has been phenomenally successfully.

“We have created our own brand that is providing the best of the best quality components, including Balboa parts, at a very competitive price. It has really proved to be a strong sales performer this year to help us attract consumers searching for a quality entry-level budget hot tub.

“Our current finance scheme by Barclays Bank is proving popular because it provides a ten-year financing option on a hot tub purchase.”

SCP Spa Products Manager Paul Thomas reported that the UK’s exclusive Beachcomber, Cove Spas, Dynasty Spas and Garden Leisure distributor and multi-produce wet leisure specialist had performed well this year with strong autumn results.

“It’s been a fabulous year for us,” said Paul; “September and October were absolutely spectacular for our sales.

“The Cove Spas range has performed exceptionally well, especially with holiday parks, and the range this year has gained 40 per cent of sales in the entry-level price range between £4,000 to £6,000.

“The £10,000 to £15,000 price range for Beachcomber has also performed well but the mid-range products for this brand have not been as strong in terms of sales.

 “We’re bringing new dealers on board and some former retailers are now coming back into the industry with our products.”

Catalina Spas Ltd chief Stephen Crabb, who has forged a swim spa alliance with Certikin, reported that the USA manufactured brand had increased its British sales this year.

“Once again we’ve increased our overall sales total,” said Stephen; “Sales haven’t really slowed down all year and we’re still getting sales even at the end of the year.

“It has been steady growth for us and we will probably be at the ten per cent increase for 2014, compared to our 2013 figures. Our swim spa partnership with Certikin is also flourishing.”

Catalina Spas dealership All Swim is on course to make history by surpassing its all-time sales record under the stewardship of multi BISHTA and SPATA award-winning retailer Jane Veysey.

The current 2014 SPATA ‘Retailer of Excellence’ and 2013 and 2014 BISHTA ‘Showroom of the Year’ and ‘Hot Tub Website’ Gold Award winner has reported that she is very likely to achieve the best ever annual sales total in her family-run dealership’s 42 years of trading, which has coincided with a 30 per cent increase in swim spa sales.

From award-winning showroom headquarters at the LinkTradePark in Penarth Road, Cardiff, All Swim supplies Catalina’s wide range of hot tub and swim spa models, including the 2014 WhatSwimSpa? Best Buy Award-winning Mardi Gras model; plus the five-seater 2014 WhatSpa? Best Buy Award-winning Ez Spa, manufactured by DreamMaker Spas.

Along with her company’s longstanding in-ground self-build swimming pool kits service, DIY kits, supplies and chemicals, Jane and her husband Andrew are currently promoting Certikin, Plastica and SCP product lines across the south Wales region; as well as a couple of inflatable hot tubs; barrel saunas; plus Cedartree Cedar Lodge gazebos; and Thatched Gazebos by Lapa.

“We’re currently trading at our second highest ever level and we are not far off beating our all-time sales record,” divulged Jane.

“We’ve experience phenomenal growth in sales of swim spas this year and already we have increased last year’s total by 30 per cent.

“All of our efforts have now been rewarded this year, which has been an exceptional one for our sales, as well as coinciding with the SPATA and BISHTA Awards success during the past couple of years.”

Alex Arnold at the Swan Pool and Spa Centre reported that the specialist L.A Spas dealership had improved on its 2013 sales performance and had achieved a positive result with sales of an additional specialist candle product line.

“We’ve done better sales this year,” said Alex; “It has been a good year for us and we’ve also had really high sales of our Yankee Candles. They are going like hot cakes and we’ve been very busy with them this year.”

Hydrospares Company Director Rosie Cook reported that the wet leisure industry supplier and spare parts specialist is experiencing increased demand for hot tub accessories and spare parts; as well as bespoke hot tubs supplied by a specialist Splash-Tec division of the family-run company.

“We have had another good year with strong demand on the accessories and spare parts side of our business,” said Rosie.

“Things are going really well for us at the moment and we are getting more and more demand from architects than ever before for our bespoke hot tub installation projects.”