As we start getting into our stride in 2021, we take a quick look back at 2020 and review the highlights and intrigues of a memorable year.
It was a troublesome year for both the Australasian and the global pool and spa industries, but it was also a year that showed plenty of promise.
In January, the troubles came first in the form of fires, floods and dust storms. But in an indication of what was to follow, there were often silver linings – for retailers this was particularly evident as the dust clouds brought a spike in demand for pool chemicals.
In February a new word started to be used: coronavirus. At first, our concerns centred around disruption to Chinese supply chains, but soon we realised in our ever-shrinking world, no-one was isolated from global economic shifts, or global pandemics. However, the pool and spa industry fared better than many industries as pools were seen as more important than ever in the lockdown era, and research showed the pools needed to be maintained properly, including by pool professionals. The industry’s future continues to look positive both locally and globally.
There were a number of acquisitions and distribution deals finalised over the year, including four that SPLASH! readers were particularly interested in: Waterco acquiring Automated Pool Products, First Graphene doing a supply deal with ALT, Pentair acquiring A&A Manufacturing, and especially the sale of Clark Rubber to a local consortium. In November Fluidra and Pool Controls settled over a mineral patent dispute, a story that also attracted a lot of attention.
In September a new age in industry training began with the launch of the Institute of Research and Learning (IRLearning), a further expansion of SPASA’s growing education, professional training and research offering.
This year the awards season was forced to go online with virtual awards held around the country, but the quality was as good as ever. The winner of the coveted Australian National Pool of the Year went to Laguna Pools & Spas, while Narellan Pools Waikato won the NZ Pool of the Year.
The newsletter includes a few of the most popular stories of 2020, including our most popular video from the increasingly popular SPLASHTV.
SPLASH! would like to wish all our readers and supporters an exciting and prosperous 2021, with more wins and less obstacles than 2020 – and of course an excellent gathering on the Gold Coast for the first SPLASH! Trade Show in three years!