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The great retail revival

The pandemic has presented countless challenges for pool and spa retailers, including forced closures and a temporary halt on service visits. With the warmer weather upon us, it’s
time to reconnect with your local pool store.

Ongoing extended lockdowns in many parts of Australia over the last two years led SPASA Australia to successfully campaign for pool stores to be recognised as an essential service in the interest of public health and safety. Those same efforts also resulted in service technicians being permitted to carry out onsite client visits, ensuring pools and spas were adequately maintained in the interest of public health.

While most lockdown periods occurred over winter, as a pool owner, you know that it’s just as important to keep an eye on things in the off-season. Your local pool store can offer expert advice and a wide range of in-store product choices that make regular maintenance and monitoring a breeze.

As a result of the pandemic, there are now more options on offer to help keep your water sparkling clean and safe for swimming. Here’s some of the services you can expect to see from your local pool store retailer.

Changing service models

Some of the changes arising from two years of social distancing and retail limits will probably continue long beyond the pandemic — for both retailers and pool owners. For instance, the days of standing in a long queue on a Saturday morning waiting for water testing will probably become a thing of the past, with most retailers now offering ‘click and collect’ services.

Some pool stores have taken this one step further, with on-road service technicians covering local areas and offering ‘letterbox testing’. Simply leave a water sample in your letterbox and it will be collected and tested. When the results are available, you’ll be contacted with advice on exactly what your pool needs... too easy!

According to Serana McNicol of Victoria’s Poolside Melton, the contactless model offers clients everything they need while ensuring everyone remains safe.

“Our role is to keep water sanitised, balanced and healthy, and this has been just as important during lockdown. We have been busier than ever, packing orders, taking water samples and delivering analysis outcomes and guidance through contactless ways,” she said.

Pool stores invest... and you reap the benefit

Savvy retailers have taken the time to invest and improve their online capability, upgrading e-commerce platforms to facilitate easy ordering and delivery for customers. It’s also been a time to focus on what’s new and exciting, so your local pool store team has been busy keeping up to date on product developments that will not only deliver a healthy swimming experience, but will save you time and money as well.

Premium technologies

Many pool owners are looking to take their pools to the next level of enjoyment and create a true backyard sanctuary. For some, this means focusing on health and wellness, for others  it’s all about poolscaping, furniture or garden design. And for another group, it’s as simple as taking the work out of pool ownership.

Mineral pools use magnesium salt to soften the water and provide additional health and wellness benefits, making them an increasingly popular choice for families looking for alternatives to traditional sanitation methods… particularly during a time when health and wellness has been the order of the day.

Pool automation systems take the hassle out of water chemistry, with continuing advances delivering self-dosing and remote monitoring options designed to make pool ownership easier and give you more time to enjoy your pool.

For those with environmental concerns, look out for products that are Climate Care Certified. These are the industry gold standard, delivering efficiencies in water and energy use, noise reduction and sustainable designs that will minimise your environmental footprint and save you money.

If you need expert advice and access to the latest premium technologies on offer, look no further than your local pool store.

Retail in a new world

The ‘new normal’ puts increased responsibility on businesses, requiring adherence to government mandated procedures and protocols to ensure that retail stores are safe for both workers and customers. These protocols include QR code check-ins, in-store social distancing, maintaining a high level of hygiene and checking the vaccination status of both staff and customers.

While the extra requirements can be a little frustrating for retail customers, we all need to play our part in order to minimise further disruption. Supporting your local pool store is a  positive step that will help in the recovery of retail and ensure you have access to the expert advice and equipment needed to keep your pool in tip top condition.

It’s been a difficult time for everyone, with customers keen to get back into the world and pool store staff more than happy to see them.

“The support from our customers has been overwhelming, with positive feedback being a main driver keeping our team’s spirits high during this incredibly difficult time. We can’t wait to welcome our customers back into our store,” Serana said.

To connect with your nearest SPASA Australia member and get retail back on the road to recovery this summer, visit our website to find your local supplier: www.poolspalife.com.au/find-a-provider.

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The 2022 SPASA Awards of Excellence winners are being announced!

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