While many retailers might be satisfied with unit sales in excess of 200 plus year-on-year, comparative new kids on the hot tub block, UK Leisure Living consider themselves to be a work in progress. Enjoying such growth, the UK Leisure Living team has been shortlisted for not one but two awards in the Fast Growth 50 Awards as Fastest Growing Welsh Firm in Consumer and Retail Services and Fastest Growing Firm in North Wales. “I have always seen UK Leisure Living as a leisure business rather than just a hot tub retailer,” explains owner and founder Gareth Jones.
“As we steadily add other sales streams, we have moved into other areas, like decking, aiming to show even bigger year-on-year growth,” he adds. Already a proven force in the solar industry, Gareth saw hot tubs and leisure as his next selling adventure. “I like hot tubs,” he declares. “I had been in a few of them and thought they would be a fun thing to sell,” he adds. “They are certainly fun products – I have never worn shorts to work so many times in my life!”
Pinning their flag to the HotSpring and Aspen masts, Gareth, and his sales manager Neil Vaughan Jones, feel they have a blend of branded spas focused on selling. Already in their second showroom, with back-up warehouse and office facilities nearby, the pair are already eyeing expansion or a move to a bigger base. Fully signed up to the Which Trusted Trader Scheme, the team is a recent winner of a Which? Distinction Award. UK Leisure Living’s current headquarters in Colwyn Bay give them a solid selling springboard not just in North Wales, but across the North West to Manchester. “We don’t think there is such a thing as a typical hot tub customer,” says sales manager, Neil Vaughan Jones. “We have such a broad mix from young professional couples to retirees who have cashed in their pensions and want a hot tub to enjoy with the grandchildren,” he continues.
Neil likens their HotSpring top sellers to a choice of tried and trusted car brands. “The HotSpring Propel is the steady and reliable Mondeo,” he explains. “While the Grandee is the Rolls Royce and the Envoy, a sportier, top of the range Bentley,” he continues. “With 28 spas in the HotSpring range, we really do have something at every price point, offering spas on another level for customers who know they are getting the quality they pay for.” Alongside the HotSpring, UK Leisure Living sell truckloads of the newly named Aspel range. “The Aspel range are consistent top sellers, they really do offer incredible value for money,” adds Neil.
Both Gareth and Neil believe that size matters. Neil explains: “We see a tendency for people to buy spas that are too big for their needs, when really they rarely have occupancy of more than two people.” Offering finance through Hitatchi, the pair have also seen a huge rise in purchases via finance. “People prefer to keep their money in the bank and are signing up on zero interest with very manageable monthly payments often on a buy now and pay next year agreements,” explains Gareth. “I would put the percentage as high as 80 per cent choosing to pay through finance,” he continues.
“It is a double-edged sword for the business because you certainly see a difference in readily available cash flow.” Strongly working the trade-in, holiday and even a splash of the hire market, UK Leisure Living is maintaining its peripheral vision as it tries and tests the market. Sales savvy Gareth is promoting on multi brands including social media presence with Hot Tub North Wales and the Hot Tubs For Sale, Swap and Repair. “Considering we actually got laughed at when we first came into the industry, I think we are performing just fine,” Gareth reflects. “One of our biggest challenges is managing our existing customer base to a high standard consistently. “Many hot tub companies would dream of selling 200 + tubs a year but this comes with its own challenges. “Staff costs jump up massively and you need to provide that support seven days a week, logistics and stocking need to be managed extremely tight. “I would not say we are in the final furlong of development because there is huge potential for more growth still to come. This will come from other areas we are working on………watch this space!”
UK Leisure Living
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