Even before the polls opened, the election had an effect on the wet leisure business. Now that we have a new government, that will have an effect too.
What are the areas where we are likely to see that happen?
‘Let’s wait and see who wins.’
In the run up to the election, every poll was showing the election as a very closely run race. It turned out, of course, that all those polls were wrong but it still gave a lot of people cause to put off spending money and making big decisions until after the votes had actually been cast.
The possibility of changes in the tax structure and, in particular, the possibility of a mansion tax, gave people reason to wait and see who won before investing in a costly pool or a luxurious home spa.
Businesses all over the country were reporting exactly that; projects, particularly big pool builds, were being put on hold till after the 7th May.
That uncertainty is behind us now and it seems likely that backlog of work will have the brakes taken off it and become jobs that people want done as soon as possible.
SOLD Subject to Contract
The domestic side of the wet leisure industry is tied quite closely to the housing market.
When property prices are up and the housing market is buoyant, then people are more likely to invest in their own home in the form of a pool, spa or home sauna.
Within two days of the election, shares in some upmarket estate agents and house building companies had increased by as much as 9%. One central London estate agent received over 50 enquiries on their luxury properties within a matter of hours.
Stocks and shares
The FTSE-100 closed 160 points higher on the Friday after the election and the FTSE-250 hit a record high.
Share prices aren’t just a matter for the super-rich these days. Lots of people, particularly those who have retired, get a large proportion of their income from investments that are tied to the stock exchange.
Stock prices are also seen as a measure of confidence in the economy.
The wet leisure industry covers a broad market. Perhaps share prices in themselves will have a greater impact on the top end of our industry, but I think that increased confidence will have an effect on the middle of the market as well. Pools, spas and saunas are, at the end of the day, a luxury, and people have to feel confident in their future to treat themselves to what we have to offer.
The grey pound
A more buoyant property market and increased income from investments will probably have a bigger affect on people who are that little bit older.
Of course the other big change that has happened to people of pensionable age – and this happened before the election – is that they are now able to draw down up to 25% of their pension fund in a tax-free lump sum.
That money might go on a grandchild’s tuition fees or a once-in-a-lifetime holiday but there will also be a lot of people who decide to treat themselves to a pool, spa or sauna.
Those silver surfers are surely going to be attracted by seeing that sort of spending as an investment in their health and wellbeing.
If you are going to reach out to customers over the age of 65, it might mean that your marketing needs a slightly different approach.
The results at a glance
Whatever your politics, the fact that the election is now behind us can only be good for business.
Whatever you think of the result, the fact that one party emerged as clear leaders rather than needing the complication of forming another coalition will be good for stability in the economy. That will be good for business too.
Of course, they also say, ‘If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.’
Blue, red, yellow, purple or green; no matter what your political affiliation there is one thing that seems to unite us all in the wet leisure industry. Good weather makes for good business.
A couple of days before the election, the Met Office announced that we had just enjoyed the sunniest April since 1929.
212 hours of sunshine
April was sunny, dry and warm. Is that a sign that we are due to have a hot summer, a great season?
Let’s hope that it’s a slightly more accurate view of the future than the election pollsters gave us. The first official day of summer is less than six weeks away, so we won’t have to wait long to find out.
A week might be a long time in politics, but those six weeks till the summer will pass in the blink of an eye. Aside from chemicals to open their pool or start up their spa, what are people going to be looking for?
That old hot tub cover might have taken a bashing over the winter. Suggest they replace it with a new one and why not add a cover lifter while you are at it.
The same is true for that pool. DEL has added to their range of replacement slats. Their polycarbonate solar slats are now available in brown, crystal, green, blue or black plus they have launched a new system called RollFit.
Just put a tick in the box
Whether it’s stocking up for the new season or ordering for that new pool build that has just been taken off ‘hold’, you can order from our 2015 catalogue that you will have received by now or online at gctrade.co.uk
If there is anything that we can do to help you prepare for the season to come, then please just get in touch.