By Eliana Barriga
Publisher and Managing Editor for The Retail Observer
This is our 100th issue! We took over The Retail Observer in 2007 and before we were able to put away our party hats, the economy crashed. Since then, we have watched the industry undergo a complete metamorphosis.
Some of you may know that before caterpillars morph into butterflies, their bodies literally “melt” almost completely inside their cocoons. Then the new body of the butterfly is formed pulling from this nutrient rich soup of enzymes. Crazy, but it’s true!
And this is exactly what manufacturers did to survive when the economy crashed. They cocooned into R&D and began building and investing in products for the future, so they would be ready to come out in splendor when the economy turned around. That’s why the marketplace is now experiencing a rebirth of exciting, new, colorful, product lines.
And savvy retailers did the same thing. Instead of becoming frozen and paralyzed from the sudden drop in sales, they cleaned up their operations so that they could run more efficiently and still turn a profit. Most importantly, they upgraded outdated systems, implemented new sales technology and got more connected with their existing customers online, learning how to market to the Millennials in this fast paced, high-tech cyber world.
We now find ourselves rounding the corner in 2015. And depending on who you talk to, the prognosis that our economy has fully recovered or that we may be limping into another meltdown; either way, the businesses that are thriving today are not the same as they were in 2007. They have been transformed and are stronger and more resilient than ever before.
And we are just as ready to share in this changing landscape we call “retail” with you for another 100 issues.
Bring it on!
By Moe Lastfogel
Director of Sales and Marketing for The Retail Observer
In the past few weeks, my grandson turned two and my granddaughter had her first birthday party. I was traveling for business during both of these milestone events, but received a flood of photos filled with birthday cake, colorful balloons and familiar smiling faces. As I enjoyed looking through the photos, I realized that it was time to take a closer look at what I was defining as “priorities” in my life, feeling perhaps that I had some of them backwards.
The tried and true adage, “family comes first”, is something we’ve all heard, and even I have repeated from time to time myself. But sometimes we let our work consume us and we become unbalanced in other areas of our lives that are just as important to grow and nurture—namely, our family.
Family is defined as any group of people, closely related by blood, such as parents, children, uncles, aunts, and cousins. “Family” is also used metaphorically to include your community, nationhood, global village and humanism. In some cases, we even consider our employees or business partners a part of our family.
I am planning to take more trips this year, but this time not for business. I will go see my children and their spouses, and to spend time with my grandchildren. It’s about time that I make time to stay connected with the people that mean the most to me—my family.
As I keep my family in the high priority that it deserves, I will, of course, continue to take passionate care of my business, as many of you have now become part of my “other” family.