As if lead time issues due to increased demand wasn’t challenging for hot tub manufacturers during the pandemic. Now they are experiencing further delays due to resin shortages as a result of the “polar vortex” that hit the Southwestern part of the U.S. back in February of this year. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal does an excellent job illustrating the challenges facing the hot tub industry. There was significant disruption in the raw materials, specifically resin, that is used in the hot tub shell manufacturing process (acrylic, fiberglass, and other bonding agents). As manufacturers scramble to find alternate suppliers to fill in during the shortage they are experiencing what is forecast as a short term setback and increased lead times. Many of the larger manufacturers are speculating that the supply issues should be resolved by Q4, however, it maybe longer as shortages plague the industry akin to many other industries like autos which are experiencing chip shortages. So if you are in the market to purchase a hot tub and are experiencing even longer delays then understand that this isn’t a localized issue to your dealer or specific manufacturer as it is an industry wide problem.
Prices are also increasing rapidly as shortages and supply issues are causing inflationary pressures on all aspects of the hot tub manufacturing supply chain. This has caused many manufacturers to impose prices increases on dealers which are in turn being passed onto the consumer. Hard to say if these circumstantial influences will remain as the industry gets caught up but for now it’s what we all have to live with.