“It ain’t over til it’s over”. This famous quote from philosopher Yogi Berra seems to be rearing its head again. We can all agree, the closet & storage industry is experiencing much deserved growth in recent years after a long & deep housing depression,
But we are not out of the woods yet. Here’s the background.
The time was February 2008, the place was the Princeton, NJ, and the event was the annual EBC (Executive Briefing Conference), sponsored by Stiles Machinery. I was an ACSP Board member and was asked to attend to represent the closet & storage industry.
The final key-note speaker was Economist Alan Beaulieu of ITR Economics. He touts he’s “100% correct 92% of the time”. His, then current, economic prediction after a horrible economic decline in 2007, was long and deep recession through 2008, 2009, 2010, with recovery in mid to late 2011. Everyone attending was in shock. How could it get any worse than 2007? It did! The weather man can’t even get tomorrow’s forecast correct. How can this guy predict 4 years into the economic future?
The next EBC I attended was in Charlotte in March 2011. This time I was President of ACSP and we all waited with baited breath to hear Beaulieu’s prediction for 2011 and beyond. He used five major leading economic indicators and showed, graphically, how the economy traditionally lags the indicators by 6-8 months. This time all indicators were trending upward. His prognostication showed slow but steady growth for the remainder of 2011and into 2012 and 2013. Then the bomb shell. The year 2014 would start another “correction”. Not as bad or deep as before but a downturn none the less.
My business is still going strong, but have you listening to the news lately about economic growth? Here’s a quote from The New York Times on June 25th, 2014:
The beginning of the year was not just bad for the United States economy; it was — on paper at least — the worst quarter since the last recession ended five years ago.
The Commerce Department revised its estimates of first-quarter gross domestic product to show that overall economic activity contracted at a 2.9 percent annual rate, much bleaker than the previous estimate of a 1 percent decline.
What makes the sharply negative number all the more stunning is that it did not feel like an economic contraction at all in the first quarter. Employers kept adding jobs at a reasonably healthy pace. Many measures of business activity and consumer confidence were stable.
The upcoming Closet & Storage Summit in Savannah on October 23rd and 24th will tackle this and other pressing issues confronting the closet and storage industry. This private, invitation only, conference for independent closet professionals, owners, and key managers is sponsored by Jeff & Josh Klein of Closet & Cabinet Experts, dba Closet Specialist. In addition, Jeff & Josh will be hosting their 30th Anniversary Banquet. They started in the closet industry in August, 1984.
We have all learned and experienced so much during the housing downturn. Many independent closet professionals desire to share and compare notes. If we are going to experience “Deja vu all over again” (Yoga Berra), October’s Summit will be the time, place and opportunity to insure your business’s survival.
More information can be found at www.ClosetSummit2014.com.
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