What kind of a year has it been for you?
What kind of a year has it been for you? And why do I want to know?
'Cause I'm 2005, that's why, and my 365-day run is just about history. I'd like to know how I did so I can give the next guy, 2006, a leg up, based on the benefit of my experiences.
In general, I wasn't a quiet year, what with all the natural and unnatural disasters and all the troubles overseas. It seemed there was something new to worry about during every one of my weeks—and I'm not even talking about your C-tailing businesses. You know very well, without my mentioning it, about the direct and indirect effects of Katrina and Rita on lots of things besides your gas gauges.
But let's bring our conversation to a business level for a few minutes. Was I good for you? Will you have fond memories of me? I can feel the cold stares now. Very few of you are pressing those Staples "That Was Easy" buttons your kids got you as stocking stuffers. And I'm really hurting from those of you throwing your "Are You Crazy?" rocks. I'm also hearing some not-too-kind things like, "You were downright nasty, 2005."
Well, for those who got caught in the middle distribution tier, I wasn't that nice, but most of you in the CI channel enjoyed the year pretty well and are looking forward to next year. Based on everything I told my buddy 2006, I'm sure you'll have a better year with him than you did with me.
Imagine my thoughts as I watched AOL video clips on the Saturday after Thanksgiving of all these people falling over each other on Black Friday for cheap-ticket electronics and entertainment products. It wasn't pretty, but there's an upside to all the insanity. It leads me to believe that the rush, once it's done, will stabilize nicely next year, having helped make all our great products become widely available to, and understood by, the masses. Right before the stampedes, how many people really knew what LCD TV was? A few thousand 15-inch LCD-TVs-at-200-bucks later and...well…that sure sounds mainstream to me.
But don't worry. You'll still have your successful market position next year. It's just that I can see all channels doing more business—much more business.
Embrace what you've learned, good or bad, during my reign and head into '06 full steam ahead.
Oh, one more thing. I have a short message from the guy who publishes CustomRetailer (whom I must thank for giving me this space to vent). He promises that he and his team will keep on bringing you the most useful, educational and informative magazine possible.
Have a great new year, and be sure to look for my buddy in the diaper at the stroke of 12 in Times Square. (Thank goodness it's not me again. I'm taking my iPod and retiring to Florida.)
Enjoy CES. And while you're passing through the casino, drop a quarter in the slots for me.