|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.
|Cozy Cabin Rustics is one of those 'American Dream' success stories.
Thirteen years ago, Arthur Card began selling locally handmade, rustic furniture in and around the Plymouth, New Hampshire area. The fact that he didn’t have a permanent location did not deter him from his vision. The products he sold were niche market products and he was very successful selling from trailers, out of storage containers and at art and craft fairs.
In 2004, he purchased the vacant Sears building located at 742 Tenney Mountain Highway in Plymouth, New Hampshire, settled down and opened shop. Seven years later he opened a 2nd location in Meredith, New Hampshire. Then, in 2015 he opened a 3rd location in Tilton but is in the process of consolidating that into his newest store, acquired January 2017, in Lincoln, New Hampshire.
John Cameron, General Manager of Cozy Cabin Rustics, enjoys selling to a niche market. He states, “What I like most about Cozy Cabin Rustics is that we sell full-fledged into our market. It’s all handmade and…well…rustic!” The 80 artisans they represent make hand-crafted, unique one-of-a-kind furniture and art. He feels Nordic Hot Tubs fit well in that niche with its product simplicity, quality and reliability.
So, how did Cozy Cabin Rustics begin selling hot tubs? According to Cameron, he came up with the idea of carrying Nordic Hot Tubs because he wanted a hot tub for his personal use. He then pitched the idea to Arthur Card. “I’m one of those researcher people,” states Cameron. “I did the research, liked what Nordic had to offer and Arthur gave the ok!” It was late fall of 2016 when they took their first delivery of Nordic Hot Tubs.
One of the biggest challenges Cozy Cabin Rustics faced has been the transition from selling out of trailers into selling from permanent showrooms. The logistics and mind-set is different from being mobile to becoming stationary. However, Cameron and Card have found that multiple locations work well for their business. “We currently have 4 locations but are in the process of closing the Tilton location because we opened the Lincoln store in January of this year,” says Cameron. “We should be completely moved in June.”
The current year has already proven to be a great sales year and Cameron anticipates the trend continuing. “We have a strong product line at present,” he states. “In fact we are selling hot tubs before we can even get the displays set up! We’ve put out the signs and have already sold the inventory!”
As Cameron was researching hot tub lines to bring into the stores, what impressed him about Nordic Hot Tubs was the simplicity and energy efficiency. “I was looking for hot tubs specifically manufactured for colder climates and Nordic stood out.” He relates this story about his own Nordic Hot Tub, “This past winter our power was out for 3 days! And it was cold! When the power came back on, I lifted the lid on my tub and it was still at 84°! After 3 DAYS!” That was proof enough for Cameron as he says, “I’m sold on it!”
Cameron offers this advice to other Nordic Dealers, “It’s a lot easier if you own the product. You aren’t really selling; you’re telling your story based on your experience with the product. It’s not just a sales pitch then.”
Cozy Cabin Rustics will be hosting a Nordic Truckload Sale from Friday, June 2 through Sunday, June 5, 2017at the Plymouth, New Hampshire location. Join Card, Cameron and Cozy Cabin Rustics’ Sales Team for some great deals on Nordic Hot Tubs!
Cozy Cabin Rustics can be contacted through the website or find them on Facebook!
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