Wave of dealer support for ‘superbrand’

Specialist hot tub and swim spa distributor Aqua Warehouse Group is helping to roll out the new American Whirlpool ‘superbrand’ on a wave of positive support from L.A Spas dealers based in the UK.

American Whirlpool is being proclaimed as a ‘superbrand’ due to the fact that it has been forged from an amalgamation of hot tub brands, including L.A Spas, in the MAAX Spas stable from the cutting-edge production facility in Arizona; following the 2017 merger of MAAX Spas with American Bath Group that created a powerful synergy between bath and spas in the process.

From the late 1990’s, MAAX expanded into the hot tub sector by acquiring brands such as Coleman Spas, Savannah, Vita Spa and Infiniti; after originating in 1969 with the founding of Modern Fiberglass and Metal. In recent years it increased its hot tub stable by acquiring the L.A Spas brand, which has gained a thriving dealer network in the UK.

With its ‘Built to the MAAX’ reputation for long-term durability and design quality, backed by industry-leading warranties, the manufacturer’s legacy also includes having the world’s first ‘Appliance Grade’ hot tubs in all of its brands; the majority of which have been encompassed by the new American Whirlpool branding and have been totally revamped as part of the new production initiative.

Tennessee-based American Bath Group designs and makes fiberglass reinforced plastic, sheet moulded compound and acrylic bathtubs and was purchased from the Sterling Group in 2016  by Lone Star Funds as part of a $750 million deal. Operating 24 manufacturing and distribution facilities in 14 states and provinces throughout the USA and Canada, the company is the largest manufacturer and provider of premium bathing fixtures to the North American market. Its brands include Aquarius, Aquatic, BathCraft, Bootz, Clarion, Comfort DesignsHamilton, and Swan; as well as MAAX, and MAAX Spas. It has now made an immediate impact in the wet leisure market by being instrumental in the birth of the American Whirlpool brand.

Proclaimed as being the ‘next generation of hot tubs’, American Whirlpool is being launched and promoted to the British and global wet leisure market with the promotion of ‘superior design’ and ‘innovation in every detail’ and the launch strapline declaring that ‘American Whirlpool is how the world says quality hot tub water products’.

Dealers have been informed that the American Whirlpool ‘superbrand’ will continue to be manufactured to appliance grade standards and incorporate a steel sub structure, which has the highest strength to weight ratio of any building material available, within its production. It is also retaining the Northern Exposure Insulating System, which is a unique three-layer thermal barrier that reflects the radiant heat from the pumps back into the hot tub.

Aqua Warehouse has gained a formidable reputation in the British wet leisure market; thanks to its successful distribution of the Vita Spa brand of hot tubs and swim spas to its thriving UK dealer network; and has been given the historic duty of promoting the American Whirlpool range, after previously being tasked with providing distribution services to L.A Spas hot tub and swim spa dealers, following the acquisition of the brand by MAAX Spas.

“The launch of the new American Whirlpool brand is a major development and historic change for the industry,” declared Aqua Warehouse chief Richard Hart, who will continue to supply and spearhead the promotion of the Vita Spa brand and its enhanced product range in the UK.

“All of our current L.A Spas dealers have declared that they want to go forward with us to supply American Whirlpool products. When we unveiled the new American Whirlpool ‘superbrand’ to them they responded very positively and they’re really excited to be involved with this new launch.

“They’ve been conducting sales campaigns to help clear out their old L.A Spas stock, because they are so eager to get the new models into their showrooms. It’s been hard holding them back. We’re now delighted to be working with them to help roll out the new American Whirlpool models to the British market.”

Dealer Manager Graham Message reported that dealers quickly grasped the significance of the amalgamation of L.A Spas with the multiple brands in the MAAX Spas manufacturing stable, as part of the formation of the new American Whirlpool brand. He also divulged that they understood that the historic change would lead to greater production efficiency and brand synergy at the Arizona factory facility and throughout the international network of dealerships.

“We were hoping that we’d get a good reaction from the L.A Spas dealers but, although it was a bit of a shock to some of them at first, we were blown away with the fabulous response after the news was digested when we informed them about all of the changes and showed them the new American Whirlpool name and logo.

“After our presentation they gave us extremely positive feedback and every single one of them embraced it. The general feeling was that they were excited by the fact that the new brand has such as strong and significant name as American Whirlpool. Many also mentioned that it doesn’t sound like a new brand. It really feels like it’s been around a long time.

“American Bath Group had actually already registered the American Whirlpool name in the past but had not done anything with it until now. ‘Whirlpool’ is a high-ranking search term online and globally recognised term. So, when you join it along with ‘American’ it is a really strong title for the brand. We’re confident it will gain an immediate positive impact in the market and the former L.A Spas dealers are now gearing up to promote the benefits of American Whirlpool to prospective customers.

“They’re a great bunch of dealers and they’ve all come on board with this new ‘superbrand’. I think it’s helped that we previously conducted a successful adoption of the L.A Spas network and have provided the subsequent quality support to help the dealers generate high levels of sales.

“Now shipments are coming in and we’ve implemented a new stock system that has gone live to ensure that orders for American Whirlpool models can be processed in the same efficient way that was achieved for L.A Spas.”

The change has also been welcomed by L.A Spas dealer network specialist Sean Aldred who has been working with the L.A Spas dealers before and after the acquisition of the brand by MAAX Spas, which has included the successful adoption of the network by Aqua Warehouse Group and the subsequent support to help generate high levels of sales in the last couple of years.

“I think it’s a great move and it makes sense,” said Sean. “This now creates a ‘superbrand’ that will bring all of the best manufacturing elements into all of the new American Whirlpool models.

“It’s going to make things very efficient, rather than the factory working with orders of popular models from several brands and then having to produce various models that are not in such high demand.

“The L.A Spas dealers are feeling really positive about this brand change and have been making preparations to bring in the new American Whirlpool models by selling off their existing L.A Spas stock in their showrooms.”