Pedro ARREBOLA, Business Unit Manager Swimming Pool of Renolit Waterproofing
How did the pandemic affect the European pool market?
After a year of lockdown there was a lot of uncertainty about how the swimming pool industry would be affected like many other sectors, such as travel, tourism, etc. From the first half of 2020, new orders came in and we reported a fast and growing demand for all pool products. Many manufacturers, distributors and installers were surprised by an increasing demand from the residential pool sector. Indeed, many private homeowners were looking for a new swimming pool or decided to have their existing pool repaired..., to create a convivial space with their family at home.
How did the market react?
2021 was a phenomenal year. 2020 marked unprecedented growth across the industry and pool demand continued to increase in 2021. Double-digit growth became a norm in major markets and for many types of family products. It was very hard to keep up with demand due to raw material shortage. In addition, long lead times, extremely high transportation costs and the steep increase in energy prices caused a perfect storm. These supply chain disruptions resulted in increased prices.
What can you expect for next season?
2022 will also be a good season. Pool builders are already booked for 2022. In some markets, delivery times are expected to begin sometime in the second half of 2022. Manufacturers are already receiving purchase orders spanning the first half of 2022. As demand has spiked and supply chains are disrupted, companies fear they won't be able to keep up. Everyone wants to have a product at the start of the season.
This, combined with raw materials uncertainty, could create tension throughout the supply chain during the peak of the pool season
How do you see the market evolving after the pandemic?
We will not see such increase in the next few years which, by the way, are not healthy for the sector.
Covid-19 has certainly accelerated demands but that's not the only reason for the industry booming. Before the pandemic, we had already seen signs of dynamic and sustainable growth. This allows us to look forward to the future of our industry with optimism.