Endless Pools works toward accommodating a variety of swim spa customer needs
By Michelle L. Cramer
Mr. Smith wants a hot tub and swim spa rolled into one unit, but his price range is a little lower than the models he’s found so far. Mrs. Baker is looking for a rigorous workout in a top-of-the-line swim spa and has no need for a hot tub. And the Conners just want something somewhere in the middle.
No two customers are alike in desire or budget. With the release of new models in 2018, including the E550, X2000 and R200, Endless now feels like it hits the full spectrum of customer needs.
“The growth and the numbers in the industry show that wellness is a large part of everybody’s living,” says Ryan Landwehr, aquatic fitness business manager for Watkins Wellness. “But not everyone wants the high-high end, and not everyone wants the low-low end. Being able to provide variety is how you’re going to differentiate.”
In August, Endless Pools launched the E550 swim spa model where the back ends seats are completely removed — leaving jets for standing therapy — taking it out of the industry standard swim spa category and making it more of a fitness system. “We want you to get in there and do as many activities as possible that contribute to your wellbeing,” he says.
Removing the back seats opens the body of the vessel, taking it from 89 inches long (standard for Endless Pools models) to 94 inches long. “And through a great design effort, we were able to grab as much of that interior space as possible by looking at the vertical walls, by removing the seats and by pushing the steps and everything to the front of the vessel near the swimming area,” Landwehr says. “We were able to maximize the entire interior landscape of the vessel to have the most optimal swim possible.”
James Ritzus, vice president of retail sales and marketing at Coleman Bright Ideas for Your Home in the Fort Worth, Texas, area, says changes to the E550 have been well received. “We displayed an E550 at an off-site event, and had shoppers trying it out and loving it,” he says. “They liked having more swim area without sacrificing a massage area.” Based on consumer feedback, Ritzus says the E550 will be displayed in his showroom at all times.
The SwimCross X2000 also launched in 2018, a revamp of the dual-temp E2000 high-end swim spa model, but with the goal of creating a more affordable option. “By adding the jetted unit and removing some of the high-end swim features, we’re able to get a price point [with the X2000] that is less than a lot of in-ground and above-ground pools, but gives the consumer the option of 365 days a year–type access, no matter the climate you’re in,” Landwehr says.
“Shoppers wanting a separate hot tub area without the price tag of an E2000 have been liking the X2000,” Ritzus says. “We sold one of those without even displaying it. The price point for a dual model is now more appealing.”
In January 2018, Endless Pools announced the launch of the Rec Sport recreational swim spa series as an entry-level product, releasing the newest model, the R200, in September. The purpose of the Rec Sport series is to make active exercise accessible at all price points for all consumers, while still providing the availability of a hot tub. “The Rec Sport to me is, hands down, better than anything else on the market in that price point,” Landwehr says, adding that the sales numbers are “off the charts” since launch.
“When the R120 mold was retired and the new R200 mold was debuted, we immediately fell in love with it,” says Josh Kemerling, general manager for Georgia Spa Company. “These changes are amazing, and it will certainly be a big mover for us.”
Helping the customer get the most out of a fitness system with the right features, and at a price they’re willing to pay, is paramount for the Endless Pools brand. “The dealers are doing a phenomenal job using the Rec Sport to draw extra attention to the brand,” Landwehr says. “And then they’re selling up from there on better swim, better efficiency, better features — proving that strategy can play out in the marketplace.”
Ritzus says Endless Pools keeps an ear to the ground on what customers are asking for and responds quickly, providing a logical price point path that offers a swim spa to most shoppers’ budgets and swim levels. Kemerling concurs. “Many companies change a jet arrangement and think they’ve created a new idea,” Kemerling says. “[Endless Pools] has looked at every aspect of the fitness system and made it the best it can be.” Landwehr says the Endless Pools brand is going to continue to keep a foot on the gas pedal of innovation. “I think this shows the industry that the Watkins investment in this space is not going to stop,” he says. “There’s a lot of growth in this category and, gosh, we’re very excited to be a part of the wave.”