By all accounts, when Paddock Pools first got into the retail business, the firm had a revolutionary way of presenting products. Now, one of the former owners of that operation has launched a new retail venture that will act as a showcase for the way retailers sell for the backyard space.
Imagine Backyard Living in Scottsdale, Ariz., is the new 15,000-square-foot retail store of David Ghiz, one of the former owners of Paddock Pools before it was sold in 2005. The showroom opened in mid-June.
“People can come in here and really see what they have in their minds to do in their backyard,” Ghiz said. “It’s a place where they can come and experience it all.”
For five years after the sale of Paddock, Ghiz was tied by a noncompete agreement. After that lifted, he worked as a retail consultant with his brother, Buzz Ghiz, who owns Paramount Pool & Spa Systems based in Chandler, Ariz.
“I always did keep my hands in that retail arena,” he added.
When Ghiz learned that Paddock Pools was going to liquidate its retail assets last year, he wanted to buy them and began talking to manufacturers about the store he was planning to open. Then another buyer made the deal, but because Ghiz had already started relationships with manufacturers, he decided to open a new store.
“It’s tough to do brick-and-mortar business today,” Ghiz said. “But what I’ve done here is establish partnerships with different people in the market. So, for instance, we do carry furniture and accessories.”
In addition to a large showroom with 22 hot tubs on display and two adjoining private wet test rooms, the store also displays different backyard concepts, with vignettes each featuring a hot tub, a theme and accessories such as furniture, kitchens and fire pits to show a complete outdoor entertainment center.
“It’s all about creating a backyard living space that people can really enjoy, can really be functional for them and can really become another room in the house,” Ghiz said. “We believe as it relates to homes and the size of lots and the cost of buying and owning and maintaining a swimming pool being pretty exorbitant over time … we like the idea of people reconsidering their backyard space.”
Vignettes are a retail concept that’s growing in popularity because customers can easily envision themselves in the space, enjoying their new purchases.
Cal Boothby remembers the former Paddock Pools as not being a typical pool store — but as an environment that the consumer was immersed in.
It’s exciting that Ghiz is launching the new store, notes the owner of Redlands Pool & Spa Center in Redlands, Calif. “You sit back and think, ‘If I could, this is what I would do,’” he adds. “… It does nothing but improve our industry.”
For Ghiz, part of starting this new business was the opportunity it afforded to hire some of the key employees who had worked for him at Paddock.
That includes Sean Nolan as CFO; Nancy Duffy, who ran Paddock customer service, as showroom manager; John Amato, who had been with Ghiz at Paddock for 17 years, as lead spa salesman; and Joyce Weirz as executive assistant.