Store Changes and New Items

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

If you have a couple of minutes to spare, please take the long way to the  Water Lab.  Look at the entire left side of the store as you walk in.  Mia has been revising the general layout since late last summer.  She created a new game room area in the room when you first come in, that used to have custom-made bars.  She shifted the pool tables up, took down most of the bookcases, and moved and expanded the summer season bar department.  I think this is the best that this side of the store has ever looked during the summer.

On the right, she forced me to change the colors of the hot tubs, because I’m a guy and I don’t have a clue.  She and Ann created a new fire pit department where the grills used to be, they moved the furniture cover department, the dinnerware department, and the umbrellas, too.

As I write this, I don’t know what Mia and Stephanie might have in mind for the pool supply department – there really isn’t much you can do with that.  Mia did set up a larger “Scratch ‘n Dent” area last July, that you should check out for some great values.  But everything I’ve seen so far, looks great.  And it’s proof that I have to get out of the way of young people with new ideas.

We are quite fortunate to have landed a new brand of heat pumps this year – Nirvana, from Quebec.  Being Canadian, they have focused on making their units work efficiently at much lower temperatures than American heat pumps.  That’s becoming more important as New Hampshire summers seem to start later every year.  Nirvana was just certified as the world’s most efficient heat pump at lower temperatures by an independent energy rate organization: The Air Conditioning and Heating Institute.

Our buying group put weeks of work into reviewing them, and their quality is extremely high.  Their dealers love them, their customer reviews are really high and they are built like the proverbial brick outhouse.  Their warranty beats every other manufacturer by a mile:  lifetime on the titanium heat exchanger, fifteen years on the cabinet, ten years on the compressor and five years (parts and labor) on everything else.  And we’re a servicing warranty center.

This reminds me that I have been remiss in not telling our customers more about heat pumps.  It is true that most of our heater sales are now heat pumps:  to almost 100% of people buying their first heater.  However, we have been letting people who are replacing an old gas heater, purchase another gas heater.  True, that is cheaper and easier – you don’t have to run an electric service.  But heat pumps are so much cheaper to operate that the payback is only a couple of years!

Last November, I was at a board meeting in Concord.  I was chatting with a woman from up north about how much she loved her new heat pump.  Over walks a man from the seacoast.  He says he just put one in last summer, himself (they both live too far away for us to install it).  They both switched from gas to a heat pump, so they could see the difference.  And they both agreed on how much more they used their pool last year.  Why?  Because they set the temperature for what they wanted, and left it thereRight through October.  When they had gas heaters, they constantly fiddled with the temperature in order to save money on gas.  So if they forgot to turn it back up, or mis-judged the weather, the pool wasn’t quite warm enough.

Here’s the thing:  even if you have a perfectly good gas heater, you should still add a heat pump to it.  You will save so much money on gas, and you will be so much happier in using your pool, that it will be worth it.

And if you don’t have a heater, know this:  people with pool heaters enjoy their pool more than people without them.  Why?  Because they use their pool much more.  So it costs them $300 to $1,000 a year to heat.  Think about it.  You are probably spending $300 to $1,000 a year to run your pool as it is.  So double the cost… but use the pool five times as often.  So it costs 80% less per use!

Nirvana heat pumps start at only $2,238 during the April Sale, so you should at least look at them now.

This is our second year installing awnings, and we are really getting good at it.  We are very pleased and surprised with your acceptance of them.  Sales last year exceeded our three-year expectations!  We install with our own factory-trained crews, and our crew leader, Paul, installed and repaired awnings for years before he came to work for us.  Actually, he is the reason that we were willing to get involved.

Right now, we are offering 15% off all awnings for the month of April.

We are now stocking an automatic pool cleaner for commercial-sized pools – the C4 by Maytronics.  This bad boy will clean a pool up to 65 feet long, and its warranty is still covered in a commercial environment.  Only $1,838 during the April sale.

How about a brand-new smaller commercial liquid chlorine container:  2½ gallons?  Way easier to carry than a 5 gallon bucket, and way, way easier to pour into a pool without ruining your clothes.  Only $7.98 in April, plus a $5.00 deposit.

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