Pools: what the French dream of

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Thanks to a sunny summer, pool sales in August 2013 rose by 47% compared to August 2012*. Although the sector is highly dependent on the weather, there are many other aspects on which professionals can work to boost their sales.

In spite of the economic crisis, the pool market is still a growth market. Having a pool remains a lingering dream for many French people, and a dream come true for pool owners: it is in fact the second biggest market in the world behind the United States of America! This bodes well for pool professionals, provided that they adapt to new consumption trends and habits.

The joys of owning a pool

In a study conducted by Institut Médiascopie for the FPP (French Federation of Pool Professionals), a sample of 1301 French people were asked to rate the association they perceived between the word “pool” and a list of more than 200 words. The results show that pools are, more than ever, synonymous with happiness (8/10), friendly atmosphere (7.7/10) and well being (8/10). They are perfect for self care, for practising sport and relaxing, but have also become recreational features, for playing (kids) and pool parties (adults) alike. Pools are therefore connected to the family (7.9/10) and the notion of sharing. For consumers, they are also a way of feeling on holiday without leaving their home: after a long day at work, they simply need to put their feet in the water to wind down and chill out.

Quality before price

Contrary to common preconceptions, pools are not an inaccessible dream reserved for the well-off: more than a third of pool owners are blue-collar or office employees. Today, although the price remains an important aspect in convincing customers, other expectations have become more important in their eyes. Quality and professionalism are at the heart of the buyers’ concerns. This is a blessing for products made in France: 90% of pool shelters sold in France in 2012 were manufactured in France. The relevant standards, which lay down the standard practices of pool construction and fitting, also represent a guarantee for the buyers that the appropriate level of expertise is provided.

A genuine living area

For a majority of French people, buying a pool represents fulfilling a dream. The pool becomes a special place where one can bathe at any time in the privacy of one’s home. Depending on the features attached (indoor pool, heated, covered, etc.), a pool becomes an additional living area, in particular when the weather is warmer. It is used to entertain, dine, relax, have a drink, etc. Just like the living room or the dining room, pools are now being decorated and livened up. The traditional turquoise-blue shell is no longer an indispensable feature! Pool owners now play with colours and materials, from wood to steel via resin, to create new shapes and areas that are even more customised and welcoming.

Hence, professionals would be well advised to be on the lookout for the latest innovations, standards and trends in order to keep the French population’s dream alive and remain at the forefront of their sector.

Source: FPP

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