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72-81 NEW SEASON SPAS & SWIM SPAS:SPN Master pages 15/1/09 16:26 Page 6
spnfeature
“We are convinced the
market will bounce back”
Our look at the new season for spas for 2009
continues with an exclusive interview with
John Schrenk, President of Marquis Spas, one
of the most influential and successful brands
on the worldwide market. He explains his
enthusiasm for the UK and the belief that by
telling customers what they need, the market
will return
D
espite some unwelcome It was a testimony to the success of the Recognising this, the company has put
predictions of ‘doom and gloom’ UK and European markets that three top in place a global promotional strategy to
from within the industry that the executives from Marquis attended the ensure potential customers ‘embrace the
UK hot tub market is on the brink conference – company President John Marquis message’ and seek out its
of collapse following the demise of some Schrenk, Vice-President Marketing, Jim products to satisfy their needs.
major players, Marquis Spas of America Johnston and Vice-President Sales, Steve Four years ago Marquis ran a campaign
sees the UK market, and those in Europe, as Hasenmueller, who spoke at Golden that focussed on ‘telling’ customers what
offering some of the greatest opportunities. Coast’s ‘Fresh Ideas’ seminar at they needed. Today, that has been totally
Speaking exclusively to Swimming Pool Twickenham Rugby Ground in 2008. reversed, with the new ‘My’ campaign,
News, John Schrenk told us that Europe Over recent years, Golden Coast has which focuses on delivering what the
accounts for 15% of the company’s consistently been named ‘Top Dealer’ by customer wants.
international business outside North Marquis Spas for the effort it, and its network “It’s still about educating the customer
America, with the UK becoming the largest of UK dealers, have put into promoting and to the value and benefits of hot water
European market since the company selling the company’s range of spas. therapy but also being a partner in
entered five years ago. As a comparison, the USA hot tub meeting their demands,” says Schrenk.
“The European market has continued to market is in the third year of decline, with As a premium brand Marquis Spas
expand during the global slowdown and is total market sales forecast at only 210,000 established itself on the back of the
holding its own. We have seen a number units expected to be sold this year, 50% therapeutic benefits of hot tubs, traditionally
of new dealers attracted to the brand, lower than the 426,000 spas sold in 2006. shying away from ‘bolt-on extras’ that have
having previously been involved with “The first reduction in the US market turned some spas into ‘entertainment zones’.
competitor products,” he said. was seen in June last year when the The company retains that philosophy at its
He added, “We would not be in the UK mortgage crisis hit and the availability of core today, focussing on water quality and
if we didn’t feel positive about the consumer spending took its toll on the US therapy which it has enhanced for the 2009
European market. It is a key part of our spa market,” said Schrenk. range. However, aware that it has perhaps
growth strategy for going forward and Jim Johnston confirmed that this decline only been appealing to one-third of the total
although currently suffering from the was also partially due to a ‘lack of visibility’ market potential, last year it introduced light
global slowdown, we are convinced the as a result of the US spa industry failing to and sound to its products as optional extras.
market will bounce back.” promote itself over the industry’s 30 year “Market research identified three
Re-enforcing this belief, the company history. This has manifested itself by 82% motivational reasons to own a hot tub –
chose its UK distributor Golden Coast to of Americans not being able to identify any health benefits, connection with family and
host its 2008 International Dealer one particular brand. friends, and escape from the stresses of
Conference, to which dealers from 25 Interestingly, Marquis has identified the day,” explained Johnston.
countries around the world were invited to vacations as the biggest single competitor Explaining that each of these consumer
attend. Taking advantage of this, Golden to owning a hot tub. “We need people to motivations have distinguishing
Coast arranged a seminar for its UK realise that they can have a ‘vacation’ every characteristics towards the concept of
dealers to coincide with the conference. day if they own a hot tub,” said Johnston. owning a hot tub, he admitted that
“IT’S STILL ABOUT EDUCATING THE CUSTOMER TO THE
VALUE AND BENEFITS OF HOT WATER THERAPY BUT ALSO
BEING A PARTNER IN MEETING THEIR DEMANDS”
76 swimming pool news FEBRUARY 09 Digital edition available at www.swimmingpoolnews.co.uk
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