Retail Observer

October 2020

The Retail Observer is an industry leading magazine for INDEPENDENT RETAILERS in Major Appliances, Consumer Electronics and Home Furnishings

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 53 of 67

RETAILOBSERVER.COM OCTOBER 2020 54 Chad Fischer, Director of Bedding Nationwide Marketing Group A s the voice of college football, Keith Jackson would say, "Whoa, Nellie!" That catchphrase seems to sum up the type of year 2020 has been. As a person who travels frequently, I know firsthand how the pandemic has altered the way many of us do our jobs. Back in March when the transition to working from home started, no one knew what to expect in the coming months. If someone had told me when this started that I would be home for 160+ days straight, my first thought would have been, "In 17 years of marriage my wife and I have never had this many days together in a row. Will we survive all this time in the same house for so long?" On the professional side, I took a part-time job at the end of March as principal of the homeschool. It wasn't a job I was qualified for, but I heard that the applications were limited. I met with the superintendent, Mrs. Fischer, and she hired me on the spot. My guess is she had no choice, as I believe I was the only option available. This wasn't your normal-paying job, and I wasn't qualified to be teaching anything, especially algebra. Somehow we managed to get through the two months of home schooling, and I am happy to announce that both of my boys completed their work from home and have successfully moved on to the next grade. I now have a new respect for teachers and truly appreciate all they do for our children. Oh, and if you're wondering what my pay was? I got all the snacks I could eat and extra valuable time with my boys. I would happily do it again but am glad they are back in a classroom setting. I recently resigned from my position as principal under no protest. My twin boys were very excited for my being home, and I have enjoyed our extended time together. We have had the opportunity to hang out more and do "guy" stuff. Although they did ask me recently when I'd be leaving again. I'm starting to think I may have overstayed my welcome. In all seriousness, I'm happy to report that the family is safe, going strong and it turns out we really do love spending time together. I tell you all this because my situation is not unlike millions of others around the globe and possibly even your own. We've all had to make adjustments in how we work, live, teach and thrive during this pandemic. And the same can absolutely be said about the independent retail channel. COVID-19 has created some challenges in the retail industry but also a lot of opportunities. According to, retail sales plunged a record 16.4% in the month of April – the worst drop in history. That same month, the mattress industry had one of its worst performances ever with some reports saying it was down more than 60%. The retail world was basically shut down for six weeks. On top of that, unemployment rose at record levels, consumers weren't shopping in stores and nobody could predict how long the lockdowns would last. As they scrambled to figure out how to stay alive, independent retailers quickly pivoted to new ways of doing business. Prior to COVID, the focus was already shifting to online and e-commerce, but now that transition has been fast-tracked. With even more consumers shopping from home, it became increasingly imperative for retailers to button up their online presence. If you have not done so already, I would make sure that your website is updated to reflect your store. Is it easy to navigate? Are the prices shown? Can I purchase directly from the website? Is online chat a feature that you offer? Are you advertising special financing and available inventory? All of these things are important when communicating with the consumer and can lead to transactions on the website and in the store. We are all in uncharted waters right now, and although it hasn't always been easy pivoting, I believe we will come out of this much stronger than we were before. PULLING DOUBLE DUTY DURING COVID Chad Fischer Furniture Trends RO

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Retail Observer - October 2020