With dark clouds still looming over the majority of European economies, the combined pool and spa sectors were crossing their combined fingers for a long overdue, sustained spell of sunny weather in 2012 to warm up cold sales tills. Those hopes were soon dashed in a ‘groundhog year’ that repeated the challenges of several previous years; burdened by a lack of economic confidence, record rainfall and Internet sales taking an increasing market share.
Sadly a triple dip was not an ice cream to cool us down in soaring temperatures but a seemingly never-ending climate of challenges to businesses, big and small, that had long-since taken up any slack.
If you can remember that far back, 2012 began with the warmest January for four years – a rather dry and sunny month, except in Northern Ireland and pockets of Scotland. Now a deep and distant memory but the pool and spa industries began the year facing drought conditions and dubious enforcement tactics by several water companies with misinformation especially surrounding hot tubs and spas.
Pinch yourself if you think you cannot believe it, but March 2012 was the warmest over the UK as a whole since 1997, and the sunniest since 1929. Many places recorded record-high temperatures during a remarkable fine and warm period in the last 10 days.
Sadly, along came April 2012. The coldest April since 1989, the dullest since 1998 and the wettest since 2000. Depressingly, the scene for the remainder of the summer was set. The water restriction debates were soon forgotten when all attention turned to the incessant rain and the flooding that ensued. Apart from East Anglia and south-east England, the UK had a wet July and August, and the summer as a whole was the wettest in 100 years. The positive light for the UK market has been the Olympics and outpouring of national patriotism and a feel good factor that still prevails.
Taking its inspiration from the London Games, the Pool & Spa Scene team has worked diligently throughout 2012 to underline its position as leader in its sector. The Pool & Spa Scene team worked on marginal gains, the British cycling team’s recipe for success, in setting its own performance goals even higher in what has proved to be another record-breaking year for the publication…
4.1 million – The number of hits on the Pool & Spa Scene website in 2012 (85% up)
297,000 – The estimated number of readers of Pool & Spa Scene magazine in 2012 (24% up)
1,494 – The number of companies and organisations mentioned during 2012 in Pool & Spa Scene (15% up)
105 – The number of products featured in Pool & Spa Scene’s Marketplace section (10% up)
95 – The number of countries Pool & Spa Scene has reached in 2012 (23 more) 132 – The number of leisure venues featured during 2012 (30% up)
1,855 – The number of followers of Pool & Spa Scene on Twitter (600 up on last year)
3,500 – The number of Facebook friends of Pool & Spa Scene (1,400 up on last year)
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