The State of the Industry

No solid answers, but solid increases

I went back and reread all my prior welcome letters from this year’s magazine issues. I was starting to sound like a broken record; it feels like many of the same questions, concerns and achievements have been bouncing around in my head for the last 20 months or so. Turns out it’s been more of a roller coaster than that.

For this issue, I deeply wanted to get a snapshot of where the hot tub industry is RIGHT NOW: Lead times, sales numbers, supply chain, hiring, costs. Like everyone else, I’m ready to move forward from the pandemic and its challenges, and see what has permanently changed.

Of course, it’s not that easy. The topics we’ve been pondering and writing about for more than a year will be similar to what we continue talk about for the foreseeable future. There are still no hard-and-fast answers.

In the October 2020 Pandemic issue welcome letter, I ended with the missive “PEOPLE WANT HOT TUBS.” That might be my takeaway from 2021 as well. Sales may not be as frenetic as they were a year ago, but they are still higher than what we’d seen in 2018 and 2019. That’s incredible and encouraging. Manufacturers are starting to add capacity, too, as everyone is prepping to sell more hot tubs each year.

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I’m proud to be part of this industry, where it’s been and where it’s going. The growth from both a sales and maturity standpoint is commendable, and I can’t wait to grow with you all. We here at the magazine believe wholeheartedly in the industry and the power of warm-water therapy. Thank you for your continued support.

And don’t miss the new season of The SpaRetailer Podcast! As I’m writing this we just released an episode with NASCAR racer Ryan Truex, which was really fun, despite my lack of racing knowledge.

Megan Kendrick, publisher