The Domino Effect
In last month’s column, I addressed the growing COVID-19 then-epidemic in China and how it would impact the delivery of products to our shores. Now, COVID-19 has reached North America and has disrupted our daily lives on both a personal and business level. Just as production overseas began to sluggishly improve, mandates in every state have limited the number of people gathering in one spot and curtailed retail operation. Suddenly concerns are not about having enough inventory or fresh products available, but literally having customers able to buy them. With financial security being top-of-mind among consumers, any purchasing power they have is focused on food and immediate provisions (i.e. toilet paper, cleaning solutions).
We are in the midst of an unprecedented situation on many levels. All of the trade shows and markets that had been slated for March through May have been either cancelled or postponed until summer or fall, including High Point Market and LightFair. While news of these shows’ rescheduling occurred after this issue went to press, the new products in our previews are harbingers of the innovation to come when the COVID-19 crisis subsides.
When possible (due to state restrictions), most lighting and home furnishings manufacturers are continuing to fulfill orders and send out deliveries. Lighting showroom personnel are using any downtime to focus on merchandising or brush up on product knowledge. To that end, the American Lighting Association (ALA) is offering its members free access to all of its online education courses and webinars for the foreseeable future (including the 10-course Lighting Associate curriculum, which normally would cost $350).
We, at enLIGHTenment magazine, remain committed to delivering the latest news and information relevant to your businesses on our website as well as our social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn) and, of course, our monthly print edition. Please do reach out and share your thoughts and concerns. We’re all in this together.