Sunday, October 31, 2021

In a Daze for 60 Days

If you are reading on a smartphone, use landscape / hold phone sideways. 

If someone is in a daze, they are feeling confused and unable to think clearly, often because they have a shock or surprise. But a daze can also be from bewilderment, fatigue, etc.

Today is 10/31/2021 - Halloween 2021. Despite the pandemic, Halloween continues to be important to retailers as people find ways to celebrate. The National Retail Federation estimates that 65% of Americans will celebrate the holiday. Total spending on costumes, candy, decorations, and greeting cards will reach $10.14 billion. Average spending is expected to be $104.74 (up from $92.12 in 2020). Hand-out candy is expected to be higher this year, as are increases in home decorating and party giving. 

For the past many years, we have received no (none, zip, nada....) Trick-or-Treaters to our house. And yet, I spent at least $30 on Halloween candy this year - just to be safe. Ahem.

So, I will go from a sugar coma at around 8:30 pm EST tonight to a major Monday Morning LAUNCH into the 60 days of holiday business blitz here in the USA. 

Normally, November and December are the crazy busy times for any size business in the USA. The Black Friday sales will probably start - tomorrow. Here in NYC, the Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park is thrilled to be welcoming back its most popular attractions for the winter. Oh, it opened for its 20th season - LAST FRIDAY - October 29, 2021. It will be open through Sunday, March 6th, 2022. 

Normally, all of the above would be true, and topical, and blog worthy - in normal times. Throw a pandemic on top, and you have 60 days of intense debate and business marketing strategy.

We are all going to be working from home. No, we are not. We are all going back to the office. No, we are not. We are all going to have an amazing Holiday Party this year in NYC. Perhaps. The supply chain issues caused by the pandemic are going to ruin the holidays. No, it is going to be fine. Two months ago, did you ever even hear the words Supply Chain? Also this: there is a HUGE difference between MADE IN AMERICA and ASSEMBLED IN AMERICA. If you can shop local, if you can buy things for the holidays that are in stock and ready to ship, fantastic. If you want something that is made with microchips, you might have to wait for delivery. 

Technically, the first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere is marked by the winter solstice, which occurs on Tuesday, December 21, 2021, at 10:59 A.M. EST. But according to Bank of America, it was last Friday. 

For me, personally, the next 60 days will be like training for the Olympics, with "my event" on January 3rd, 2022. That will be the first working MONDAY of the New Year. Starting tomorrow, 11/01/2021 the starter's pistol goes off for the end of year push. Business (of any size) will be pushing to "make their numbers" for the holiday season. Broadway Shows will hope to sell holiday tickets. Restaurants will hope to book parties. Airlines will hope that people will travel again - for both business and pleasure.

Starting tomorrow, everyone with a website or eCommerce store will try to get ready for the holiday rush. (Ah, you are already late). I DO KNOW that sales of headsets, laptops, cameras, and all things "remote" will be hot sellers. As we Build Back Better, the tools of "The Cloud Workers" will be in high demand. 

Back to Halloween. Will anyone come to OUR house tonight? According to Good Housekeeping, trick-or-treating usually begins across the U.S. around sunset. Our town does the "trunk-or-treat" at the  local school parking lot, but there are a few streets in our town that will get (literally) thousands of kids. 

How will my next 60 days go? Ask me in January. But my starter's pistol goes off at around 7:00 A.M. EST tomorrow, and it's a 60 day marathon. 

An amusing anecdote states that baseball great Yogi Berra was once asked whether he wished to have dinner at a highly-regarded NYC restaurant, and he replied with a remark combining wisdom with contradiction: "Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded." And with that, ratings for this year's World Series are at an all-time low. But Halloween Candy Sales are at an all time high. During a pandemic. Weird, right? 

Why do things happen the way they do? Assuming this year will go down as one of the least-watched World Series ever, Major League Baseball now has to ask itself why. There is no real answer, and baseball can point to the overall ratings drop for the NBA finals, the Stanley Cup Final and other big sporting events that suffered similar declines in 2020 and 2021. 

I DO know that my (personal) next 60 days are going to be nuts. I also understand that TOMORROW there will be great sales on Halloween candy. 

Speaking of nuts, who does not love good 'ol Almond Joy? Remember, Almond Joy has nuts........... Mounds don't. 

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