SR expands editorial coverage in each issue
THIS ISSUE OF SPARETAILER marks the debut of backyard living content that will now appear in each magazine. We announced the expansion of this editorial segment during our soft launch in June, but this is a big step forward for the SR team. We haven’t expanded an editorial category since swim spas, back in 2009.
Leading up to this launch, we conducted numerous trade surveys and interviewed dozens of dealers about enhancements we were considering to maintain our position as the authoritative trade publication in the hot tub industry. Backyard living won in a landslide.
Backyard living has become big business for many retailers who offer complimentary products to build consumer engagement and promote return visits between major spa purchases. Here’s a small sampling of survey responses.
• Ninety percent of spa merchants asked SR to cover backyard living each issue — up nearly four times from just two years ago.
•Sixty-three percent of spa merchants requested backyard-living marketing ideas.
•Fifty percent want backyard-living merchandising tips.
For more survey findings, see Opinions on page 20.
Our subscriber feedback isn’t unique. Any casual internet search will display equally compelling stories about the merits of selling backyard living products, including:
•“More than 70 percent of U.S. households have outdoor living spaces, and nearly 70 percent of those households use these spaces at least once a week in season,” according to research commissioned by the American Home Furnishings Alliance. “According to the survey, 71 percent of consumers who have outdoor spaces would like to enhance their space. The top priority is to make it more relaxing, cited by nearly half of respondents.”
•CNN Money reported that industry analysts predict that in 2016 the market will top $5.7 billion.
•A recent Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association survey says “more than one-third (37 percent) of U.S. adults surveyed plan to purchase a new grill or smoker in 2016, while nearly one-third (30 percent) of current owners plan to grill with greater frequency. In addition, more than one-third (35 percent) of consumers with outdoor kitchens plan to upgrade their space in the next three years.”
Die-hard subscribers, don’t panic. We know the business of hot tubs is what makes SpaRetailer unique from other trade magazines, and we will never stray from our core competency. As we approach our 10th anniversary in 2017, we look forward to continuing to cover spas in new and creative ways.