spending to contract rapidly.
In a note to clients, Bespoke Investment Group said “Few companies are so entwined into so many aspects of the U.S. economy as [Walmart] and [Target], and their logistics and supply chain operations rival or exceed those of most other companies. If they’re having these types of issues keeping up with the rapidly changing environment, who isn’t?”
It is certainly apparent in the pool and spa service sector. Every year Service Industry News conducts a three-part industry survey to help pool maintenance professionals keep their fingers on the pulse of the industry. The results of this year’s billing survey show clear evidence that pool service professionals are struggling to keep up with acrossthe- board price increases. The cost of pool and spa service has risen dramatically in the year since Service Industry News last conducted its survey, and even more dramatically when compared to the year prior to the pandemic.
For example, in Southern California, where participation in our survey is always heaviest and therefore most reliable, service techs were charging an average of $102 a month for once-weekly service in 2019. According to responses to this year’s survey, that number has increased by about 50 percent since then.
The accompanying graphic shows how service pricing has changed from last year to now. In keeping with the nationwide statistics, in the last year, pool service firms have been forced to raise prices by 5 to 15 percent.
But the shifting buying patterns of Target and Walmart customers may be indicators of an economy on the brink of trouble, in which case the pool service sector would be wise to brace itself for a tough time ahead.
Because while a great many homeowners consider pool care an essential service, there are enough do-it-yourselfers out there who may want to tackle the job themselves as a cost-cutting measure.