Indigo Pool Patio BBQ has been inducted into the AQUA 100, an exclusive honor bestowed to just 10 North American pool and spa retailers each year.
Indigo Pool Patio BBQ Owners Pat and Michelle Ireland have been building and remodeling swimming pools since the company’s inception in 2008. The idea to expand the business into the retail market came in 2012, when they saw a client's need for quality patio furniture, grills, outdoor kitchens, pool chemicals, parts and accessories after their pool projects were completed.
At Indigo, inventory is king: As one of the largest pool, patio and BBQ retail stores in Southwest Florida, the company’s five showrooms spread across 7,000 sq. ft., plus an additional 13,000 sq. ft. of warehouse space.
“Having what our customers need in stock in our building is one of the most important aspects to being successful,” says Pat Ireland. “The convenience of having all of what we have to offer in one place makes a much more relaxing and hassle-free experience for all our customers.”
Indigo is a true one-stop shop for the whole backyard: The showroom offers everything from outdoor furniture, grills, tableware, and outdoor kitchen appliances to pool equipment, chemicals, heaters, water testing and automation systems. And they don’t skip on the small details, either: a rub, spice and sauce wall feature over 170 different flavors (with samples available) and the walls of the entire showroom are lined with a 3D metal wall art collection. There are over 100 different grills on display and carry 5 brands of outdoor patio furniture.
The company has earned a number of accolades, including 2021 Top 50 Pool Builder, authorized Platinum dealership with Big Green Egg, Diamond dealership with Napoleon, Full-Service Weber Specialty Store and the largest Ledge Lounger dealer in Southwest Florida. In a testament to their commitment to variety, Indigo continues to integrate new products, and has plans to increase the number of product demonstration events they do throughout the year.
“As new products are rolled out, we schedule in-house training sessions with the pool sales, service and construction, and retail sales employees. The more that each of the sales team knows, the better it is for all our teams to work together as one,” explains Ireland. “This results in an extremely knowledgeable team that can assist our customers in every aspect of their projects.”
Over the past year, Indigo implemented several technology upgrades, including a new POS software that allows the team to take inventory using a wireless scanner or a mobile app. “This improves productivity and speeds up time, especially due to the fact that our warehouses are so large,” says Ireland.
E-commerce features were integrated into the POS, as well. “We are now able to offer over 1,600 products to customers all over the country, as well as providing our local customers the ability to order online and receive curbside pickup or local delivery,” continues Ireland. “This new integration has streamlined our inventory tracking procedures and has been a great asset to our retail staff.”
As advocates of water safety education, the Indigo team does what they can to advance the cause. The company works with the FSPA’s Florida Swims Foundation, an organization dedicated to providing Florida children with swimming lessons before they reach kindergarten.
“Florida has the highest number of drownings in the U.S., and we believe that swim lessons are critical for all children in the state,” says Ireland. “Learning to swim is one of the greatest life skills for a child in Florida, and we would like to ensure all kids have that opportunity.”
The AQUA 100, presented by AQUA Magazine, is an industry-leading competition designed to honor excellence in pool and spa retail. In light of the adversity specialty retailers of all kinds have faced over the past decade — the rise of online shopping, the pressure of a recession and now, the global pandemic — the AQUA 100 honors the diamonds of excellence that have not only survived, but thrived, proving once and for all the spirit of brick-and-mortar businesses will carry on.
“It’s quite an achievement to be selected for the AQUA 100,” says AQUA Magazine Executive Editor Scott Webb. “This national competition evaluates each business on a variety of measures, and the blind scoring of the judges ensures a truly worthy winner. It is the highest honor in pool and spa retail.”
The application process was rigorous, requiring entrants to provide detailed information on company history, customer service, store design, digital presence, marketing and community involvement, complete with supporting documents. Applicants were judged by an independent panel of retail experts.