Where is the pool and spa sector at now? After reviewing the French private pool sector, our press partner “Activité Piscine” checked out the international post-COVID swimming pool market in its report “Covid-19 and the international pool market: recovery or slump?”. Here is a summary of their findings, country by country.
For a comprehensive view, see the pool and spa trends worldwide before the epidemic in our interviews carried out at Piscine Global Europe 2018.
Order books were already full for 2020 and the lockdowns, less drastic than elsewhere, enabled work to continue. Do-it-yourself stores were open for sales to home owners eager to fix their gardens and houses. This is why sales of inexpensive pools and spas rose. The sector held up much better than other industries, particularly due to a large number of orders coming from the retailers to answer demand.
On the other hand, Covid-19 delayed orders for new swimming pool projects. Unemployment was higher than predicted, reducing consumer spending power.
With the introduction of home and short-time working, home owners invested in their properties. Australian pool builders and installers did somewhat better than before the epidemic as what Australians had saved to spend on their holidays they spent on pools and spas – or on upgrading existing aquatic equipment. Contact-free sanitation procedures made it possible to maintain retail business.
To boost the flagging economy a construction company survival program was set up - but specifically excluded pool builders. However the sector remains optimistic. The southern hemisphere summer season, which started last September, will decide.
Before the epidemic, the pool sector was growing faster than the national economy but it was strongly impacted, as its activities were classified nonessential by the Spanish government. The profession prepared procedures and action plans to return to normal activity, including the adoption of protective protocols to keep pools safe and the manufacture of equipment for hospitals, basically hygiene and disinfection products.
Forecasts for 2021 are optimistic with a strong demand for testing and metering equipment and a boom in smart and connected pool sales.
When the crisis occurred, most pool and spa companies responded rapidly and the majority is optimistic. Home owners envision improving their living conditions as they will be spending more time there. Businesses welcoming tourists envisage the acquisition of pools and spas or the upgrading of obsolete facilities to give their customers extra benefits.
The United Kingdom
The United Kingdom is in line with the general trend to improving existing living space. However, the construction sector was temporarily disturbed by the medical restrictions, whereas pool-related services exploded as the summer was exceptionally fine. Suppliers forecast a boom in demand for basic equipment (pumps, filters, spare parts…), in particular from commercial swimming pools which were closed for a long time.
As the economy recovers, some companies are saturated with orders, sometimes through to 2021! A bright future for the sector in the UK…
And in France?
If lockdown slowed growth in the pool and the spa sector in the spring, this hiccup has now been completely reabsorbed and recovered the upswing which positioned the French market as one of the most buoyant. Sector turnover is up, including exports. According to the FFP in an interview given in Les Échos at the end of June 2020, pool sales were up 5.5%, consolidating France’s place as the biggest pool market in Europe.
The swimming pool market seems to rebound easily and most pool professionals seem to be optimistic. Join us at Piscine Global Europe 2021 trade show to discover the latest sector statistics and trends!
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