Hot tub retailers share backyard goods they love to sell
Big Green Egg “Eggs are a low-margin ticket. But I just sold a hot tub to a guy last week, and when I pulled up his name I said, ‘Oh, you’ve shopped here before.’ He said, ‘Yep, I bought an Egg here. I keep coming back for charcoal and seeing these hot tubs.’ Eight-five percent of our showroom is hot tubs; this small area is the grilling section. But people are always in there because they know Georgia Spa will have the new [Big Green Egg] accessories. They generate a lot of traffic in our stores.” —Josh Kemerling, general manager Georgia Spa Co. • Atlanta, Georgia, metro
Outdoor kitchens “Our favorite outdoor product is the outdoor kitchen and bar centers. This is the new heart of the backyard. Since we are big fans of gathering with friends and family and having a causal dinner, or just a few drinks around the fire pit, it’s perfect for our lifestyle. The convenience of the island and the bar center makes it a welcome destination without the hassle of prep work, or the task of dragging all of the food, drinks and ice out to the backyard.” —John DiFiore, project manager Fun Outdoor Living • Charlotte, North Carolina
Firepits “The newest, hottest item for us is outdoor firepits. We brought it in as part of our outdoor patio furniture lineup — we’ve carried patio furniture since the early ’80s — but firepits have been so popular it’s created it’s own category.
Everyone seems to want one. It extends the summer. In the Northwest especially, where people love to be outside. Fire is mesmerizing; people will sit and stare at it and talk for hours. It creates a conversation area and a conversation piece. That’s what I find at my own house: We just go outside, put our feet up on the firepit and talk for awhile.
They’re easy to use — you use them just like a barbecue — and everyone knows how to use a barbecue. It’s a designer piece; you can create any look you want. That’s what we’re real excited about.” —Jon Chapman, co-owner Rich’s For the Home • Seattle, Washington, metro