There’s a gas shortage right now through much of the southeast because the Colonial Pipeline, which operates out of Texas, was hacked and had to shut down operations. By the time you read this, that will have all been corrected and hopefully safeguards will have been put in place so it doesn’t happen again.
This gas line disruption has impacted more than my ability to get gas in my car in the usual short amount of time, however. It has also exposed a vulnerability in our infrastructure, one that needs to be corrected quickly and probably should have been addressed and tested prior to the cyberattack.
If this past year has taught us anything, it’s that we have to be ready for anything. In the home furnishings industry, we’ve dealt with pandemic shutdowns, unusually increased demand and supply chain issues that make it difficult to meet that demand, just to name a few of the elements that have and continue to impact business.
What we should have learned is that we need to be clear on business strategies to deal with the unexpected and insulate our businesses from possibly damaging challenges. Had this pipeline hack lasted longer, for example, how would that have affected furniture shipments that might be already somewhat off track?
Of course, we don’t have crystal balls and we can’t predict when, where or how these things may happen. But we can and should be as prepared as possible. In the home furnishings industry, from the independent designer to the retailers to the suppliers and manufacturers, the ability to be prescient and flexible enough to deliver for your customers has been nothing short of impressive. Hopefully, the ability to adapt, learn new ways to connect and deliver on promises will continue to make our businesses that much stronger as we move forward. There will always be another crisis. It’s how we prepare for those that sets us apart.
As we come out of this year of challenges, it’s wonderful to think that this month kicks off what will hopefully be a more “normal” market season.
We’ve already seen the excitement and optimism surrounding this season — from April’s well-attended High Point Premarket to the High Point Market and Lightovation preview pages in this issue. There will be lots of new products to see this month, that’s for sure! I believe our High Point Market preview is the largest we’ve ever had. Make sure you flip through to see introductions from both of these markets that you’ll want to be ordering for your customers.
The Furniture, Lighting & Decor team will be in attendance at both June markets, and we are looking forward to seeing as many of your “masked” faces as possible in the coming days. Be sure to stop by on June 24 at Lightovation for the Showroom of the Year Awards! We’re excited to announce the winners of this year’s competition in person.