I grew up in a retail home, meaning my dad was a retailer. He and a business partner ran a couple of five ‘n’ dime stores for over 30 years. Christmas was always an adventure. There was Lay-a-Way, Christmas candies galore, an aisle the length of the store brimming with toys, Christmas décor items. Business was brisk and by Christmas Eve we were always exhausted. But at closing time on December 24, we heaved a sigh of relief—a happy one—and went home to begin our holiday. It was a different world in the 1960’s and 1970’s.
The year 2020 has redefined our world altogether. COVID-19 has impacted us through cancelled Christmas celebrations, family plans thwarted, sickness, mask wearing, and more. The waters are uncharted this year for retailers probably as much as for any segment of our economy. For brick-and-mortar Retailers, it is a very uncertain world: to purchase inventory and how much to buy, staffing and protecting staff from the virus, making customers feel safe in your store, keeping up web orders—just trying to make a living, right? Yet here at Old School Mill, Inc. many retailers are still placing orders, knowing in good faith that shoppers will still support them, one way or another.
Personally I know how hard the Christmas season is in normal times; I have lived that life. What I have not lived is the world of 2020 as a retailer. So to all the Retailers out there, my hat is off to you! As one of your suppliers, I appreciate you and your store selling our products. Go home early on Christmas Eve, as next year you may be working late that day like we did years ago. Hold on for better times, as surely better times will come in 2021.