Forget Toilet Paper, Swimming Pools Are Now the Hottest Item in Town
Summer vacation looks a little different this year thanks to COVID-19. Rather than increase their risk of exposure to the virus by getting on an airplane or staying in a hotel room, and with many public pools closed, people are looking to turn their backyards into an oasis. But if you haven’t ordered a swimming pool yet, you might not get one this year.
Manufacturers and retailers say there has been a sharp spike in sales, making it the hottest ticket in every town. Central Jersey Pools in Freehold, N.J., recently sold its last above-ground pool and the store owner told The New York Times it could easily sell 100 more.
Above-ground pools are in high demand at pool stores because of their relative affordability and ease of installation, compared to in-ground pools. “Sales are up exponentially,” the president of Central Jersey Pools told The New York Times. “Triple what it was last year.”
Caribbean Pools and Hot Tubs in Austintown, Ohio, reported sales for its spring months were double that of last year, according to The Business Journal. Manager Brian Remias said demand spiked the first week of May and two weeks later, his inventory was depleted.
The store is getting 15 to 20 calls per day from people who want to buy pools or hot tubs. “We are backed up to mid- to late August in terms of installing pools,” Remias said. “Many people are buying them now for next year.”
Caribbean Pools and Hot Tubs’ pools are manufactured at plants in the United States and Canada. “Those factories all had to shut down. And a lot of them just reopened on June 8,” Remias said. “If you didn’t have the inventory before the season began, you were behind the eight ball.”
Doug Hollowell, owner of Doughboy Pools — an above-ground pool manufacturing company — in Arkansas, told The New York Times that he’s sent pools to 48 states and even Europe. “We’ve seen pool packages shipped to places we never though they’d go,” he said.