|Located about 42 minutes East of Philadelphia, is Coatesville, Pennsylvania home to Gritz Pools. Founded by Henry Gritz in 1963, Gritz Pools has been building in-ground vinyl pools for satisfied customers in and around Coatesville for over 54 years!
When Henry retired in 1984, his son, Mark took over. Mark had a different vision for the business and embarked on a steady process of updating and streamlining processes. Henry had built a solid reputation for the business with quality, hand-built products and workmanship. Mark felt strongly about continuing the tradition but, with a few modifications.
Mark researched heavily, upgraded suppliers and brought in lines of hot tubs and equipment to round out the inventory. Currently, Gritz Pools builds in-ground vinyl liner pools, installs outdoor showers, performs pool demolitions and provides pool water delivery. They sell and install hot tubs along with offering a complete line of chemicals, components and equipment needed by pool and hot tub owners.
What sets Gritz Pools apart is the personal service they offer their customers. According to Pati Sweitzer, Marketing Manager at Gritz Pools, “Even for something as simple as chemicals, our staff will help them carry the products to their car and we know our customers by name.” She goes on to add, “This is one reason why our customers are always recommending us, personal service. We continue to be a family owned and operated business.”
Gritz Pools weathered the recession in 2009 by continuing to build quality pools and offer prompt, reliable service. Sweitzer states, “The recession brought luxury purchases down a lot but we feel they are coming back strong. We hung in there and our spa sales are up 70% this year alone!”
Listening to their customers’ requests has Gritz Pools looking to expand the service aspect of their business. “We get a lot of requests from customers to clean and maintain their pools and hot tubs,” says Sweitzer. “At present, with around 12 employees, we don’t have the staff to do it.” However, Mark’s daughter, Erica, would like to add this type of service and is in the planning stages of setting this up. “We just don’t want to jump in and not offer the service they [customers] know and have come to expect,” states Sweitzer. She adds that as they continue to increase sales, they are working to be able to give customers that ‘peace of mind’ maintenance option long after the sale.
Gritz Pools attended the Atlantic City Show held in January of this year to look for a line of hot tubs to add to their inventory. According to Sweitzer, “We liked the Nordic Story and the fact they are made in the USA,” says Sweitzer. She goes on to say, “We heard they were simple to operate and easy to maintain so we decided to bring them in. We’ll let you know more in a year!” Sweitzer indicates they are extremely pleased so far.
Sweitzer has this advice for other dealers, “Let customers know they are appreciated!” To do this, Gritz Pools has a large Customer Appreciation Event twice yearly. But, as Sweitzer says, “that isn’t the only way to show customers they are valued.” Sweitzer feels that customer appreciation is shown daily and in responding timely to customer requests. “Our pool business is very seasonal here, just a few months out of the year. So, when they need things done or fixed we try to respond ASAP!” states Sweitzer.
Contact Gritz Pools and the Gritz Sales Team through the website or find them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
A Nordic Impulse DP beautifully displayed by Gritz Pools.
Gritz Pools offers a full range of chemicals and equipment to maintain pools and hot tubs.
|CONGRATULATIONS to Antony Perry of URBAN CEDAR for being featured in Trip Advisor’s Top Vacation Rentals Around the World as shared by USA TODAY!
Antony, one of our European Dealers, is located in Bristol, England; you may remember Antony from being featured on BBC’s The Apprentice.
The property featured on Trip Advisor’s list is at Hedgehog Corner, located in Lyme Regis, Dorset, England and is listed as the #4 pick in the Mid-Range Rental Category.
The hot tub from URBAN CEDAR features prominently in the photographs of the property on Trip Advisor!
|Viscount Pools, with locations in Madison Heights and Imlay City, Michigan is celebrating their 50th Anniversary!
Bob Zacharski, owner of Viscount Pools East, tells the story of how he got started in the pool and spa industry. “It was 1973 and I was in my second year of college. My brother was working in the pool industry and they needed another above ground pool installer. So, naturally he called me and I’ve been here ever since!”
Viscount Pools displays over 40 hot tubs and numerous pools between the two stores. The 20k sq. ft. Madison Heights location is evenly divided between showroom and warehouse space while the 14k sq. ft. Imlay City store is completely showroom. “Having a well-stocked warehouse allows us to be fully responsive to customers’ needs and delivery timeframes.” states Zacharski.
Thirty five years ago, Viscount sold its first hot tub and Zacharski remembers it clearly. “It was a round tub with 4 jets and a ¾ horsepower pump,” he laughs. “It sure was an exciting time back then because it was fun!”
Since that time the hot tub industry has grown exponentially and Zacharski is happy to have been a part of it. “I’ve seen it all and done it all in this industry,” he claims. “We even built our own hot tubs out of 4 Quonset huts in South Lyon, Michigan for a while.” The time he spent in manufacturing taught Zacharski a number of life lessons as he states, “I learned how to first of all be a human being, then a retailer and a businessman.”
The thing Zacharski feels gives Viscount Pools an edge over the competition is experience. He states, “We have over 100 years’ experience between us and we are experts in our field!” The operating philosophy under which he runs Viscount Pools is a combination of four aspects of retailing. “First, is know the product! Keep a good stock of replacement parts, solve problems and get referrals.” Zacharski states emphatically, “Without the referral aspect, we’d be a whole lot less than what we are now!”
Zacharski feels the biggest obstacle Viscount Pools faces is due to industry issues, both external and internal. He believes the current largest issue for any brick and mortar retailer is the internet. “Internet shoppers can purchase without ever talking to a salesperson. This creates a completely different retail climate in which it’s harder to build the trust relationship with customers,” he states.
The second obstacle Zacharski sees is within the pool and spa industry itself. “We have never hit the pinnacle of professionalism as an industry,” he says with disappointment. “And we’ve not made hot tubs affordable for all Americans. We have the resources to do that but the industry, as a whole, went the other way!”
However, he is very optimistic for 2017 as he states, “The Michigan economy is on fire!” Because of the current strength in the retail sector, he knows his hot tub sales will stay strong and he is counting on good weather to keep his pool installations on track.
Viscount Pools added Nordic Hot Tubs to its showroom due to Zacharski’s friendship with Nordic’s owner, Maurizio Vozza. “Maurizio is my best friend in the industry, “states Zacharski. “His leadership has fostered an environment where you [Nordic] produce a great product, have great service and all at a great pricing level.” Zacharski says he is confident that when he gets answers from Nordic, the answers are honest. “Your company and products make our job 1000% easier,” Zacharski says with a laugh. “Nordic is just comfortable to work with.”
Zacharski offers this advice for other dealers when he states, “Everything about life is about relationship. Take care to build the relationships!”
Bob Zacharski and the Viscount Sales Team can be reached through the website or find them on Facebook.
A view of Viscount Pools showroom in
Madison Hts, Michigan.
Viscount Pools located at
1843 Cedar St, Imlay City, Michigan.
A view of Viscount Pools showroom
in Imlay City, Michigan.
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