By Moe Lastfogel
Director of Sales and Marketing for The Retail Observer
“We are optimistic that things will turn around soon, and that we will be back to normal sooner then we think. We know it will take some time before everyone feels safe again, but I think we are lucky to be in this industry. I believe we are in the right place, at the right time for people to renovate, remodel, and reinvest in their sanctuary. We must remain positive, and not lose sight that we have been here before, and that we are resilient, and will come back stronger than ever.” —Anonymous
As I sit in on Zoom meetings and talk with our various partners, I feel proud to say I am a part of what’s happening in the industries we cover. Every day I see more and more associations, trade shows, vendors and buying groups coming together to assist you – the independent retailers, designers, and contractors – in your day-to-day businesses.
Nationwide and BrandSource Buying groups have created not only Covid resource pages but programs to get your businesses back on track as well. Additionally,they are offering assistance with signage, business loan processing, and website development to get your E-commerce sites up and running. They are working diligently with vendors and distributors to get you the products you need to keep your customers buying from you. As I write this, reports to-date show businesses up in sales and volume in various categories.
Many of our manufacturers are up and running, including our European and Asian Partners. I have seen virtual CEU programs and web-based training direct from the manufacturer or their vendor partners. NARI, ASID, AIA and the NKBA have conducted studies and surveys, created webinars, and have setup sections on their sites to givey ou industry related Covid news and tips to help you in your businesses.
Although many trade shows have been cancelled, many have set up virtual show programs where you can buy and interact with their various vendor partners and speakers. The shows that are still scheduled are setting up new markets that will feature new layouts designed to enable social distancing, traffic controls, and virtual components.
Seeing everyone come together and helping each other at this time of uncertainty has been amazing. We will keep an eye out on the Industry as things progress and will keep bringing you the news and information as we have for 50 years. Again, thanks to all of our partners for helping you, our readers, keep your businesses up and running.
Happy and Safe Retailing,