Discretionary spending, SPASA and our industry
Discretionary spending has increased over the past few years, as consumers in Australia and the broader world economies prosper.
While this is good news for the swimming pool and spa industry, it is also true for markets that compete for the discretionary dollar including boating, campervans, caravanning and holiday travel.
Estimates for the swimming pool and spa industry suggest there are between 1.2 and 1.4 million pools — along with half a million spas — currently constructed or installed in Australian homes. The industry is said to be worth more than $1 billion per annum, with an additional $500 million coming from associated sectors including portable spas, pool shops and other related service providers.
Construction and installation growth data (where available) indicates a projected annual growth of 1.5% (that’s 21,000 new pools and 7500 new spas). These figures are debatable, thanks to the fragmented planning reporting processes for each state and territory, but let’s assume them to be a reasonable benchmark to work from.
By comparison, the campervan and caravan industry is worth approximately $19 billion and growing. Total registrations for these types of vehicles over the 2017 period was 779,933 — 15,240 of those were new registrations. The boating industry employs more than 25,000 people and enjoys a reported turnover of $8.28 billion per annum. In 2017 there were 16,000 new boat sales recorded.
So, it’s easy to see that consumers are spending significantly more on discretionary purchases that we are seeing directly in the swimming pool and spa industry. We must acknowledge that consumer demographics and trends are changing and that the marketplace is becoming smaller. These shifts present both challenges and significant opportunities for our industry.
As a strong industry and representative association, SPASA Australia has an important role in moving the industry forward. As a niche industry, we must continue to be innovative, competitive and attractive to new entrants, employees and consumers so we can continue to grow.
Importantly, we must also be unified in our resolution to work together for the benefit of the entire industry. It is no accident that the level of activity generated by SPASA Australia — on behalf of the industry — has been more pronounced since the merger into a single national body. As an organisation, SPASA Australia is excited by what lies ahead. It is committed to working closely with members and all stakeholders to not only build on recent success, but to also plan for the future.
I have always said the best promoters of the swimming pool and spa industry are its members. We are all ambassadors and, as such, I would invite every SPASA member, every business and every stakeholder to:
- Always promote and recommend credible industry members, businesses and organisations
- Always project a positive message of the industry when speaking to consumers
- Always support one another with advice and assistance
- Always look to improve your skills and your knowledge through training and CPD
- Always act professionally in every situation.
Lastly, always talk the industry up... because we have a lot to be proud of.
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