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22 Jun 2023

Major leisure brands Center Parcs, Haven, Butlin's and Park Dean lap up Splash About's swim gear

Major leisure brands Center Parcs, Haven, Butlin's and Park Dean lap up Splash About's swim gear
Bright, bold and exciting Retail Theatre from Splash About

Splash About International has secured exclusive tie-ups with Center Parcs, Haven, Butlin's, Park Dean and Away Resorts.

Splash About International has secured exclusive tie-ups with Center Parcs, Haven, Butlin's, Park Dean and Away Resorts, giving it a poolside presence in 85 per cent of its target market.

It comes three years after the multi-award winning company expanded into the niche retail arena, with the buy-out of Birmingham-based Swimrite Supplies. While Splash About has established a name in the infant market – thanks to the multi-award winning Happy Nappy innovation in watertight wear to avoid potential pool-closing infant accidents – Swimrite operated in the junior and adult spheres, with swim accessories stocked at pools and holiday parks.

Brought in-house to premises in Stallingborough, the company invested in tech-led pick and pack logistics to support the roll-out, with the results of the work done as Covid hit now being realised as demand for domestic holidays continues to boom.

A rebrand and product overhaul followed the purchase, and now there is a strong focus on “retail theatre, strategic merchandising, online ordering and stock guarantees”, all designed to optimise retail sales, especially during peak trading periods. The approach, coupled with what it describes as exceptional customer service, has been attributed to the brand's success, despite having a first summer decimated by Covid.

“Splash About has been at the forefront of baby swimming for the past two decades and has transformed the market, with its continuous range of innovative swimwear and learn-to-swim products,” said Bernadette Spofforth, managing director. “Swimming pools in the leisure sector often operate at a loss, we are making great strides to reverse this and transform retail in this sector. Our bespoke solutions are just the tip of the iceberg, there is more to come – watch this space!”

The individually-branded streamlined displays are all designed to withstand the sub-tropical poolside temperatures, as well as the needs ethos and customer demographic, while behind the scenes at the 17,000 sq ft North East Lincolnshire operation, each client has a dedicated account handler. An integrated retail solution provides bespoke web portals, which show stock levels in real time, accelerating the replenishing process and reducing the reliance on manual ordering. The 40-strong team at Splash About supports it with next day delivery to optimise sales during critical trading times.

“When we entered the market just three years ago there was a real opportunity to transform the retail outlets in the UK leisure parks,” said Lesley Beach, finance and operations director.

“Our unique approach means Splash About inputs into every concept, design and product stocked, so we are confident sales will be maximised.

“It's a testament to this strategy that last year, Center Parcs, which previously had not focused on poolside retail, rolled out a three month trial at its Elveden Forest site to see if Splash About's range of products would appeal to its holiday makers. The success of this initial trail was extended to all other parks, including Ireland, after just six weeks.”

The range includes, inflatables, swim toys, arm bands, floats, goggles, and reusable swim nappies, and is also sold at its local municipal pools through Lincs Inspire.

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  • Holiday Parks, Resorts and Events
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