Spring newsletter 2022
Poultney Pools Spring 2022 newsletter
Inventory issues and sharply escalating prices are the topic of discussion in many industries today. The early indicators for the pool and spa industry in 2022 are starting with a lot of questions and uncertainty at the retail level. Our phones are already ringing with questions from prospective customers. Here is a summary of what we know and the expected issues for 2022:
Above ground pools
Traditional sheet wall pools are in short supply and we have no inventory in stock as of this date. Some pool models/sizes are expected to arrive soon, but we won’t have the same number of choices we usually offer. Insulated wall above ground pools are still able to be ordered. Their lead times are reasonable right now, but they are expected to increase when summer weather hits. For the next few months we will only be selling above ground pool kits (while supplies last)—no installations are available unless market factors change. Prices for pool kits are up substantially compared to prior years.
Above ground liners
Above ground liners are only being made to sell with new pool kits. We do not expect to have any above ground liners for replacements for at least the first half of 2022. Depending on who you speak to there are many different stories circulating about why the shortages have occurred, but they all have one common theme. Raw material shipping from overseas is not arriving or is not arriving in quantities large enough for the normal supply chain. Our in-ground liner manufacturers can make above ground pool liners but there is a hefty premium to consider this option.
In ground pools
The pandemic prompted many families to make investments in their homes, both through home renovation and new construction. In ground pools continue to be in high demand as many individuals consider ways to stay entertained right in their own yard. Our contracted work continues to exceed our expectations and our waiting list is long. Our first priority in the spring is to complete the jobs that didn’t get finished last year due to weather and a shortage of skilled laborers. We do still have some openings for work in 2022 but it won’t take long to fill those positions. The success of our builds and refurbishes are dependent on our trusted suppliers. Multiple distributors and manufacturers are doing a great job sourcing raw materials and the necessary parts and accessories, but their lead times for new materials are quite substantial. Prices for pool kits, liners and related accessories are up substantially compared to prior years. Supporting equipment prices for items like pumps and filters are also up considerably, and we did experience some shortages for these items last year. We expect similar shortages this year. Heaters and heat pumps are at critically low levels so if you’re considering a purchase of these items don’t wait too long.
No item in our store has generated more traffic than hot tubs and spas during the pandemic. Our sales floor has been lacking display tubs for quite some time. Our next scheduled arrivals of stock tubs are expected to arrive in September or October. Lead times for hot tubs/spas are longer than they have ever been. Raw materials are in short supply and manufacturing is not able to keep up with the demand for new product. Our supplier still prioritizes American made components. This has insulated them from some of the difficulties of other manufacturers. Prices for hot tubs are up slightly compared to prior years.
3” Stabilized Chlorine Tabs (trichloro-S-triazinetrione)
By now you have you heard about the chlorine tab shortage. This is one of the few shortages that is not the result of Covid. The following link will explain a little more about why chlorine tablets are in short supply. Chlorine Tablet Shortage Due to Covid-19 & BioLab Fire – Pool Magazine This huge fire at a major manufacturer of a product that is used as a primary sanitizer for so many swimming pools is creating ripples in the industry. Chemical manufacturers have ramped up production efforts for alternative types of chlorines, like calcium hypochlorite, to try to pick up the expected slack. Calcium based tablets and a reliance on sodium hypochlorite (liquid chlorine shock) will require some retraining by your pool pro, so don’t wait until your normal opening date to inquire about those options. We do have a good supply of 3” stabilized chlorine tabs in the 25 lb container size, but we don’t expect them to last too long once people start opening their pools. A lack of raw materials for producing smaller containers is an ongoing issue and the reason many of the companies who are still producing 3” tabs have not been able to prioritize those more reasonable sizes. Prices on chlorine tablets are up substantially compared to prior years.
Baquacil products are not manufactured in the chemical factory that burned and there hasn’t been any interruption in its availability or supply. Baquacil is unaffected by the chlorine shortage, but raw materials for packaging are creating some delays. Baquacil is non-chlorine, longer lasting and is non bleaching. This provides many customers with a great alternative to chlorine. And it is an option we have in stock. Baquacil prices have increased compared to prior years.
The pandemic taught us that our shock sale did not have to happen over four short days. In an effort to keep store traffic manageable, and to give our employees fewer customer interactions per day, the 2022 sale will be held from April 1 to April 30. You’ll have 30 days to decide what you need, and 30 days to make return trips if you forget something. Chlorine prices are up compared to two or three years ago. As always supplies are limited at the shock sale. Reorders and pricing are not guaranteed this year. Whatever we run out of will be reordered at market price. The shock sale prices will be published a few days prior to April 1st.
The pump rebate program for energy efficient swimming pool pumps has been terminated.
Any one of these problems by themselves would be a cause of concern for us in a normal season. The fact that so many things have been upset by outside market factors is certainly creating difficulty in many aspects of our business, but we will make the best of it. Your patience and support of us during these unprecedented times has been inspiring. Thanks for all you to do help us be successful and thank you for making Poultney Pools the clear choice.