Leading by example comes naturally to Francesca and Glen Squire, UK distributors of Sundance Spas who practice what they preach as Sundance’s top UK retailers, trading under the banner of Alfresco Life.
“As far as we are concerned it is all about quality not quantity,” says Glen who moved into spas and hot tubs from a background in the building trade, specialising in conservatories and small extensions.
“We can all go and buy a container load of tubs from China but how is your business going to last long-term selling those because
ultimately you could become the company with a reputation not to buy a spa from,” says Glen.
“It is much more important to protect your prices and protect your margins by selling a higher-end quality product that ultimately will pay higher dividends for you, your customers and your business,” he adds.
Glen and Francesca knew they wanted to get into spas back in 2005. They spent six months researching the market, comparing products and prices before choosing Sundance Spas and taking the plunge with Alfresco Life back in 2006.
They were the UK’s biggest Sundance dealer when the previous distribution company folded and it was almost inevitable they would be approached by the American manufacturers to take on the UK distribution of the brand in 2009.
The UK team holds a select stock of the most popular Sundance models. They lean on Sundance’s large European store in Rotterdam for other shipping options and with typical order to delivery from Holland available in three to four days see no reason to increase UK based overheads. Their current UK Sundance network is made up of a dozen dealers and they will be looking to fill strategic geographic gaps in 2012 and beyond.
“Over the years we have been approached and even tempted by other brands but we still believe Sundance has the most to offer.There are a lot of very professional hot tub dealers out there who multi-brand or who chop and change brands,” says Glen.
“We all know people who have been in the business for four or five years with four or five different product associations. That is not for us because we don’t know how you maintain your integrity with your clients on that basis. “I could not see myself anything else other than Sundance when we started and there is nothing to change my view now,” says Glen.
“Sundance are the best spas with unique features and it is those unique selling points that differentiate you from the competition.”
With 20 different spas in the Sundance range, the flagship range is the 880, featuring the Cameo and Optima models and retailing at around £13,000. The top selling 880 eliminates the dreaded cleaning of the spa filter instead offering a nine month replacement system and an impressive running cost of 50 pence per day. It has a ‘bearing-less’ jet configuration helping to add to the longevity of the spa which typically offers a 20 to 25 year lifespan to customers.
Glen says: “I know when I started getting into the hot tub industry and when I saw Sundance, I thought they were too expensive but you have to sell the difference. “I think there are too many retailers in our industry settling for a £5k spend when they could sell at £8k plus.
“Being a retailer ourselves enables us to test our products and our price point philosophies and share that good practice – in essence we don’t ask anybody to do anything or sell anything we have not proved ourselves.”Sundance Spas Tel. +44 (0)1625 611118
www.sundance-spas.co.uk Alfresco Life Tel. +44 (0)1625 423803