It all started ten years ago as an on-line selling idea with the business set up and run from his bedroom. After a remarkable decade, Superior Wellness is now widely recognised as Europe’s largest hot tub and swim spa distributor, as well as the world’s fastest growing manufacturer.
The Superior journey began in 2011 when, at the age of 23, Rob Carlin decided he wanted to import and sell hot tubs. Having zero knowledge of the hot tub industry, he researched the products and spotted a gap in the market for entry-level products to be retailed online.
“I am incredibly proud of how far we have come,” reflects Rob, speaking exclusively to the Hot Tub and Swim Spa Scene magazine.
“From the early days, when I rented a small warehouse and worked from my bedroom, to now moving into our new headquarters, it illustrates the growth we have experienced.”
Superior Wellness saw phenomenal growth in 2020, with sales increasing by 400%.
“2020 was a year that none of us will forget for many reasons,” says Rob. “People were spending more time at home and spending money on transforming their gardens.
“Sales for hot tubs and swim spas increased and the company grew rapidly; almost overnight,” Rob added.
As Superior’s growth rocketed into 2021, in the spring, they moved into the new 130,000 square foot warehouse, distribution centre and office plus one of the UK’s largest hot tub showrooms.
The move into a new purpose-built head office marked a huge milestone neatly coinciding with the ten-year anniversary.
The new location is almost the size of two football pitches and is the largest hot tub distribution centre in the UK stocking up to 3,000 hot tubs.
It houses hot tub distribution centre used for partner and team training, an inhouse photography studio and one of the UK’s largest indoor showrooms for retail and training.
There is a focus on wellness, with a free onsite gym ‘Superior Fitness’ and fitness classes for team members including boxing and circuits.
With team breakout areas for chill out space and relaxation or to collaborate with other teams, it really is a great environment to work in. The team culture is one of the key reasons, Rob believes, for Superior’s success and this environment is only enhancing it.
In November 2020, Superior Spas changed its name to Superior Wellness. The rebrand reflected what the company does, its growth, its vision, brand strategy and most importantly a remarkable business culture. Rob again: “We don’t just sell hot tubs and swim spas; our purpose is to improve wellbeing for all.
“The team live and breathe the values and the rebrand was an important part of the journey to take the company to the next level.”
A greater emphasis is being placed on sustainability and a focus for the future. In an award-winning business competition, Superior Wellness demonstrated they have committed to sustainability during the past five years.
Mark Needham, Head of Operations said: “Within the last few months, we have reviewed our waste strategy, purchased electric forklift trucks, installed solar panels and have electric charging points. “This is just the start as we seek to become more sustainable as a business. Our ten-year vision is to become carbon neutral.”
Due to the sustained growth, the Superior team grew from 30 in 2020 to almost 70 in 2021, with brand new roles created including apprenticeships for young local students to secure their first role. Gareth Ward, Sales Director said: “We could not have achieved the growth without our culture; we work as a close-knit team and support each other.
“To ensure the team remains close-knit, we start the working week with a team building session for 10 minutes which involves the whole company,” Gareth continues.
“We are investing in marketing, technology, research, IT, product innovation and the customer experience. We aim to go beyond expectations in all that we do.” “We are continuously innovating and providing our customers with more choice.”
Platinum Spas launched three new models in 2021 – the Mykonos, Marseille and Monaco. All three are in the Premium range and will be ready in 2022 for customers. The recent introduction of Thermals Spas has offered the Superior retail network a greater product choice.
In April the new energy-efficient insulation the Platinum Premium Shield was launched for the Platinum Spas Premium range and swim spas. The end user will notice a considerable difference in the heat retained in the hot tub as well as a reduction in energy costs.
Another highlight in 2021 was the announcement of our new charity partnership with Fibromyalgia Action UK. Miami Spas, the retail division of Superior Wellness, is also donating £5 per hot tub sold to Fibromyalgia Action UK. Ask any team member why they work at Superior Wellness and the majority will say the culture. It is key to the success and is led by Rob and Gareth. They genuinely want people to enjoy coming to work and make sure that happens.
The team work hard but ensure they find time for socialising together too – whether that’s a game of pool at lunchtime, a workout in the gym after work or having fun at the annual Superior Wellness barbecue.
If you think they are intending on resting on any laurels – think again. This year Superior have focused on expanding into the USA and Canada as well as increasing our partner network in Europe.
Superior’s International team has also expanded to support the increase in sales with more dedicated sales managers working out in the field in Europe.
November was a busy time as the Superior Wellness team exhibited at both the PSP Deck Expo 2021 in Dallas, Texas as well as the bi-annual Piscina & Wellness Exhibition in Barcelona.
Graham Message, Business Development Manager at Superior Wellness, commented: “It was a fantastic opportunity to promote our brands in the home of the hot tub during the PSP Deck Expo.
“This was the first time we have ever exhibited over in the USA and it has been our most successful show in 10 years.
“I have to say that the whole team were blown away at the positive responses received from attendees and prospective partners.”
The exhibition in Barcelona brought together Superior’s four European Sales Managers for the first time during the busy four-day show. The dynamic team, who importantly cover six languages between them, spent time with existing clients as well as securing new partners to the ever-growing network across Europe.
Over the next ten years Superior Wellness will be working towards their vision of becoming the world market leader in hot tubs and swim spas, offering a global choice of high-quality products and commended for a focus on wellness and best in class customer experience.
With a driven, focused and ambitious team, no-one is betting against a fast-moving and exciting second decade ahead.