Well here we are for a Christmas issue and a year-end windup. All I can say is THANKS! In spite of some of the most challenging landscapes 2017 was a success for most of our key retailers. Traversing the rocky road between their conventional business, and the mobile world that e-commerce has introduced, has left brick and mortar stores either energized like Jake Jobs at A. F. W, or scared stiff as many others profess. The Dec. 3rd issue of Furniture Today spotlighted the many sides of the internet retailing from analysis of 3 major web giants: Amazon, Overstock and William Sonoma. My take was that in each of their conference calls each talked about the necessity of blinding speed when the consumer clicks on it! But in their own way they indicate that a physical presence is going to be a part of the future of their business model.
It’s going to be fun to watch. Besides this giant struggle, I think 2018 is going to have supply chain interruptions. Whether it be China’s crackdown on manufacturers (and possible a mini trade war), to severe short-age of truck drivers, especially in the short haul business, and cost escalation as inflationary winds below in.
As always Mike, Jay and I are inordinately involved in study, attending conferences, and listening to astute retailers and leaders in the wholesale distribution end of the furniture industry. Please let us be your sounding board to trends and challenges! As your partner we will continue to bring you our best judgements on profiting from endeavors. Merry Christmas and Happy and Prosperous New Year.