38: Catching Up on the Latest CE Trends with Dealerscope and Connected Design

Written by Rob Stott

September 8, 2020

The consumer electronics industry is constantly finding ways to innovate itself — even when not forced to do so by the cloud of a global pandemic. We catch up with the editors at Dealerscope and Connected Design to talk about what they’re keeping an eye on in the CE space.

Rob Stott: All right, we are back on the Independent Thinking podcast. This might be one of my favorite that I’ve ever done. I know you two, talking to… Yeah, I see the looks Nancy. I see the eye roll. I mean it though. This is going to be a fun one. First of all, I appreciate you guys coming on. For those who don’t know, this is Michael McEnaney of Dealerscope at the…the Editorial Director of Dealerscope.

Mike McEnaney: You got it.

Rob Stott: And Nancy.

Mike McEnaney: Still trying to fill your shoes.

Rob Stott: And Nancy Klosek, Editor-in-Chief of Dealerscope and Connected Design. Guys, first appreciate you taking the time out of your day. I know it’s hectic and busy, but I appreciate you finding time for Nationwide and coming on our Independent Thinking podcast.

Mike McEnaney: Always happy to hang out with Nationwide. You guys do such great work within this space. It’s fun to get a chance to chat with you guys and talk to that audience.

Rob Stott: Thank you. We appreciate it. And of course, always appreciate the coverage and seeing you. I know we haven’t in a while and we may not for a while, but seeing you at PrimeTime is always nice. We appreciate the coverage. Let’s start with just your day-to-day. I know obviously we’re, like I mentioned, very familiar with you guys. I may, for those who don’t know, may have a bit of history. Prior to Nationwide was with Dealerscope and Connected Design over there at CT lab. But for those who don’t know, Nancy, I know you were there before my time, so tell us a little bit about Dealerscope, about Connected Design, and what CT Lab’s all about.

Nancy Klosek: Well I’ve been editor there, an editor in one capacity or another since 2005, which is ancient times. Dealerscope, I started then, and then I started up with Connected Design, which… And it started four years ago. Before that I worked for a Japanese owned trade publication in New York. So Dealerscope… You want me to tell you a little bit about what we cover?

Rob Stott: Yes.

Nancy Klosek: We aide CE retailers basically, and we cover them in all related businesses like buying groups, distributors, and other industry organizations. Connected Design is very much the same, and aims at technology integrators and related business. And covers those buying groups, yada, yada. It’s basically the same, but slightly different audience. There is some overlap, as you know.

Rob Stott: For sure. Always fun trying to tow that line. Mike, how about a little bit about you and where you come from?

Mike McEnaney: Sure. It’s interesting. I started at [Natco], not necessarily on Dealerscope, but part of what was CTPG group when Nancy probably was first starting her career out at Dealerscope. You might have been a freelancer at that point. I don’t recall going back. I don’t remember what I had for lunch, so to go back 20 years is a little rough. But I started and I launched the publication with Natco called Picture Business, which was in the photo retail space, when there was a photo retail space, until Mr. Steve Jobs came along and changed that paradigm. But I worked on Dealerscope for a while. We launched another couple of hubs along the way. We launched CE Week. And then I left to start my career in marketing, launched a company on my own. And now unfortunately for Nancy I’ve come back. I wasn’t quite done yet here. I came back in October of last year, as you’ll know, Rob, to fill your shoes. And I’ve been going pretty well since. It’s been great being back with Nancy, somebody I worked with years ago and we had a real fun run, and it’s fun to be back.

Rob Stott: That’s awesome. Something too, another layer to CT Lab that some may know, some may not, the IFA, Messe Berlin relationship. Talk about that a little bit.

Nancy Klosek: That started, I guess, about three years ago with their investments in us. And now we’re fully owned by them. That’s pretty much the synopsis of it. And they, if you don’t know who they are, they run a huge European trade show. It used to be every two years, and then they switched it to every year. They get a tremendous number of both trade and consumer visitors, hundreds of thousands of people. It’s a hybrid event in that consumers come in at the end. It’s a good time for everybody. They bring their children, they bring strollers. It’s quite an interesting show.

Mike McEnaney: Those fairgrounds in Germany, I’ve done a few shows out there, and that is the way they typically do them all is that there is a consumer component at the end, and they’re held on these really immense fairgrounds with 19 or 20 different buildings housing various aspects. Obviously Ethan’s been cruising along for many, many years. And making an effort to continue amid this pandemic, they are going to put together, and in the middle of putting together with our help, a hybrid virtual physical event that will be September 3rd through the 5th, so we’re anxious to both cover that and see how that shapes out.

Rob Stott: That’s awesome. Well, thinking of guys as you go through it. I know what those days are like over there and trying to work through that, so nothing but the best, and we’ll be thinking of you guys as it goes on.

Rob Stott: Mike, you mentioned the pandemic and what we’ve living through these past couple of months. Interestingly for us, the three of us in here, we’re all pretty much remote workers at this point, so the day-to-day may not necessarily be very different from what we’re used to from a working perspective, but to each of you, have you noticed a lot of differences in how you’ve had to go about doing your jobs on a day-to-day?

Nancy Klosek: I don’t know. I would say the way of working is a little bit different. And then the constant headaches like these. I can feel real empathy for all the retailers and vendors that we talk to. We’re all going through the same thing, but they all have unique challenges based on their markets. Some seem to be managing the situation pretty well, but it’s tough.

Mike McEnaney: The lack of face-to-face, I’ll be honest, over the course of the last six months is depressing.

Rob Stott: Yeah, you’re not wrong.

Mike McEnaney: It’s depressing. I’ve not been able to cruise into Manhattan and visit with retailers and manufacturers, and to go to press conferences. The number of shows we’ve all missed in the last six months, several a month. I would be lying if I didn’t say… That’s such a necessary part of what we do, is the collaboration, the communication face-to-face. So yeah, Nancy said it. It’s been rough. I work at home anyway, so my day-to-day is not different, but the overall scope of what we do, absolutely different. To not have face-to-face is awful.

Rob Stott: You hit the nail on the head. Yeah, we’re remote workers, but not to be overlooked is the fact that… I’d venture to guess that 20, 30% of the time, you’d be on the road, at a show. Like you mentioned even if it’s just a quick hop into downtown Manhattan, or go to a press conference, or check out a store opening, something like that. So there is that human interaction that’s just not there right now.

Mike McEnaney: You build toward that. The course of a given month is building toward a Nationwide event, building toward a big event like Sharp in Manhattan, building to our events, CE Week, which unfortunately we had to cancel. When that’s removed, it takes a real… I think that engagement element is removed, and again, we’re reduced to Zoom meetings or Microsoft Team meetings. And they’re wonderful. Look, we’ve all discovered how great and how much can get done remotely through that, but I’ll take face-to-face any day. And I miss it a great deal.

Nancy Klosek: And then there’s the uncertainty about if it’s going to change again next week. You guys are trying to plan a show. I had a talk yesterday about that. It’s a moving target, right?

Rob Stott: Yeah. What it’s been like in New York is things change. There’s the local level, there’s the state level you have to worry about. There’s just so many different factors and things that you have to keep track of, no matter the size and scope of whether you’re a retailer, trade media, buying group. It’s just so many different things. It’s almost impossible to keep track of all these rules and regulations and things that… But here we are trying.

Mike McEnaney: And some succeeding. You’re in touch certainly with a large number of independent retailers. And we’re in touch with our readership. It’s been interesting watching the different ways certain retailers are handling it. Some being ultra conservative, and that’s working for them. And others taking a little bit more a chance. We’ve heard literally every imaginable story. Again, some pretty good success stories, which we’re very encouraged by.

Rob Stott: Yeah. That’s a perfect segue. I wanted to talk about your coverage and what you’ve seen in the CE space, whether that is retailers, manufacturers, the brands that you guys cover. I guess we’ll start with the challenges that you’ve noticed. What kind of challenges have you been reporting on or seeing in your coverage of retailers trying to manage through this COVID situation?

Mike McEnaney: On the reopening with some… And then Nancy, I know you’ve got some good stories as well because she’s done a few Insider Talks where she’s had people on discussing that specifically. I’ve been on the phone with a few people too obviously over the course of the last few months. The reopening was, again, a gigantic challenge. How much is too much? How much is too little?
What I’ve discovered a lot of them telling me is they developed this approach where normally you’d like people to come into the store and linger a little bit. Now this feeling is that people don’t want to linger, they want to come in, they have a very specific idea of what they want to purchase, and then they want to get out. That’s been a restructure and a rethinking of how the sales team is going to interact with people, obviously at a distance and with all the proper PPE in place. But they’re realizing that they can only let a certain amount of people in the store at a time, so it behooves them now to do something they’re not used to doing, which is bum rush people out the door so that they can get a new group of people in. That’s been a challenge, I think, for a lot of them. We’re seeing different retailers handle that differently, and some really, really deftly, and they’re having a real good run with it.

Nancy Klosek: A couple of things I thought of were supply issues that they’re having to deal with. One person we spoke with on these retailer Insider Talks, he’s involved in selling fitness devices that have screens on them. There’s a big problem with getting the supply of the screens from China. There are real big issues with that. The other thing I could think of in general is a lot of retailers really want to keep all their staff, but it’s harder and harder to retain everybody that they had pre-pandemic. Those are the two things I could think of. It’s unfortunate…trying as hard as they can, but difficult.

Rob Stott: Right. I see your point about the supply. I think you kind of look at what we hear on the Nationwide side, the challenges that members are facing. I’ve seen it in coverage elsewhere too, the supply chain is all sorts of out of whack right now. I know that in particularly the appliance side, that’s been the case, because yeah, retailers had to shut down, but if you think about where this all started overseas where a lot of manufacturers are based, particularly appliance manufacturers that had to shut down their operations or reduce the scale of their operations and weren’t producing at full capacity, if you didn’t have, not that anyone could have predicted this, but the foresight to stock your warehouses early on, you found yourself in a situation rather quickly where your appliance inventory dried up, and then so did the manufacturers inventory. So there you are left with not many places to turn in order to restock your warehouses.

Nancy Klosek: On the other hand, they’re doing really booming business with things that they’re able to get because of stay-at-home situation. So it kind of cut both ways.

Rob Stott: I know. The demand’s really high, so in theory you would hope that manufacturing remained high to keep up with that demand, but in fact it had to shut down, so it’s compounded by that fact.

Mike McEnaney: Yeah, some of those ramifications weren’t felt for a while, but they certainly were felt over the last couple of months. And now there’s this desperation to make sure it doesn’t affect Q4, which is their bread and butter. We’re talking 40% or 50% of their revenue during the course of the year is going to be garnered over the course of the last three months of the year.
Yeah, it’s certainly dicey, and it remains so because as Nancy said earlier, we don’t know. There’s so much unknown. We don’t know what’s going to happen in the next three to six months, so they’re still poking around in the dark to an extent.

Nancy Klosek: Is there a Black Friday? Is there even going to be a Black Friday?

Rob Stott: You know what’s crazy, you mention that. We recently looked… I’m sure you guys are aware of Adobe Analytics and everything they produce, especially around Black Friday. They’re one of the go-to industry insights as far as what online… How the eCommerce space is doing around Black Friday. They had a report, I think it was back in June or July that looked at those first three months of the lockdown, March, April, May into June.
It’s unbelievable to me, but spending during the first couple of months of the lockdown surpassed Black Friday spending from 2019. So people were actually spending… Black Friday every year is always a record setter for online spending, just spending in general. But in particular, it’s always going up every year, new records being set on Black Friday. There was no holiday. People were just at home shopping online because they were forced to, and all of a sudden, I think it was close to $80 billion were spent on average over the course of three months. Just unbelievable to see that push to online. So that is Black Friday.

Mike McEnaney: You’re right. Those numbers were skewed a lot by the need to now buy literally everything. Stuff that you would typically run out and buy at a store now is being purchased online, so those numbers exploded in large part because of that. But yeah, still they were insane numbers. It will be interesting to see what kind of an environment we’re living in come November versus if people have just now really gotten used to… People that had never purchased online, or did it very sparingly, now are pretty used it, and a lot of them dug it. So let’s see what happens in November. Those numbers could be really, really great.

Rob Stott: Yeah. A lot of people were introduced to the idea, who may not have been real comfortable with it. But out of the necessity of having to do so, and then maybe they all of a sudden realized, hey, this is kind of convenient. This shift… I know it’s been said about a lot of industries right now, the fast forward, about COVID really forcing industries to press that fast forward button on the way they operate. Retail is no different. eCommerce, it might have been fast forwarded by who knows how long? Maybe a decade ahead of where we thought we’d be right now, because of COVID.

Mike McEnaney: Yeah. That, as you said, has touched many an industry. The one that we’re seeing that we covered in a recent issue was the autonomous robotic industry. That has really been fast tracked. There are these disinfectant robots, and autonomous delivery. That really was jump-started. Again, it was rolling along fine, but I think over the course of April, May, June, July, it certainly skyrocketed and was clearly fast-forwarded.
Go ahead, Nancy. Sorry, I didn’t want to step on you.

Nancy Klosek: In the course of some of the conversations we’ve had on those Insider Talks, there is a worry that some of these booms are going to tail off soon as the COVID rages on. How long can it go on that people are buying because they’re nesting? They’re buying, buying… Then if it keeps going on, there is that underlying worry.

Rob Stott: Something tells me… I’m sure you guys are familiar, or have heard of that hoarding show. It was one of those TLC shows on hoarders.

Rob Stott: Post COVID, we could probably have an entire channel dedicated to some hoarders. I know at Amazon… I’ve heard at our house, the FedEx truck slow rolls by now because I think he expects to stop. And when he doesn’t, it’s like to the point where he maybe wants to come check and make sure we’re okay, because he didn’t have a delivery that day.

Mike McEnaney: You’re right. That’s absolutely a new way of life. Again, you chatted earlier about changing consumer shopping habits. There’s a ton of them that will probably stick that weren’t really part of the pattern until COVID, and now retail is going to have to prepare now for a shift, a new paradigm.

Rob Stott: Flipping the script a little. We talked about the challenges. Not that they’re negative or anything like that. Some interesting challenges and trends that have emerged. Any inspiring stories that you were able to cover because of this, whether it’s a retailer, or a brand doing something that made you just kind of take a step back and be like, “Wow, that’s a really cool way to tackle this challenge that we’ve been all been facing?”

Nancy Klosek: The usual independent retailer minds of trying to be nimble when something happens, it seems to carry through to everybody we speak with. But specifically, I can’t think of anything.

Mike McEnaney: I think the thing that we’ve garnered from the last three, four months of conversations with the retailers is this is an opportunity for the local guy. People are shopping locally now, a lot more than they had been prior to COVID. You don’t want to take the trip that’s got an extra few miles attached to it. And the local guys that have been smart with making people feel safe are operating more efficiently, knowing that they just kind of want to get in and get out, as I mentioned earlier, those guys are winning. They’re getting customers back. And there’s this idea that they may become now more loyal customers because of the fact they feel safe, they’ve been treated better, and they’ve kind of gotten reintroduced to shopping locally because of the conditions and the situation we’re in. That’s to me been the most inspiring thing, the idea that maybe this is going to ultimately down the road wind up helping a lot of the independent local guys.
Let’s see. It’s a silver lining that we’re hoping to see. I’m not saying that that’s for sure, but clearly a few that we’ve talked to said they’re seeing an uptake in foot traffic lately, and customers seem super appreciative of the fact that these guys have gone the extra steps and are concerned about their employees’ safety, and their customers’ safety.

Rob Stott: Yeah, we’ve seen some stories of our members doing some things, but to your point about just independence in general, there’s always been the nice connection that they are local, and you can go there, and the family. But this situation, to your exact point about them being nimble and flexible, really on display I think during COVID, just the way they’re able to adapt whereas big corporate chains don’t necessarily have that same ability to move and pivot as quickly as independents have.
Even beyond that, just the expertise. You think about the shopping experience, you think about the first timers that are going to an independent store during this time because they can, or maybe they trust going into a local shop more than maybe high traffic big box stores, and they get that independent local experience, they’re introduced to product savvy type of sales floor person that can actually give them the right information and in-depth information. This has been an opportunity for independents to set themselves apart.

Mike McEnaney: It has. There’s a, “We’re in this together,” attitude.

Rob Stott: Yeah, exactly.

Mike McEnaney: Your kids are going to the same schools, and every school is handling this differently. One of the guys told us that half the conversations are about, “Hey, you live here too. This is awful, and how are you managing.” That definitely is something that they carry out the door and feel like, “You know what? I’m going to stick with that place because that was a pleasant experience,” and again, “They’re suffering too just like we are.” You don’t feel that with the big chains as much.

Nancy Klosek: Your Nationwide guys must have a thousand inspiring stories to tell, right?

Rob Stott: I think so. That’s why I try to do with this podcast over here, is try to find those stories. There’s been a few. One that always stands out, you guys, Mattress Mack – Gallery Furniture down there in Houston. He’s the guy that’s… Astros are a touchy subject to some, but when you bring up the Astros having been in the World Series, he always placed the big bets on if the Astros win the World Series, he would give away a million mattresses, something like that, or deep discounts on mattresses. Worked out for him one year, not so much the second year.
But he opened up his warehouses and things like that when people were put out, and offered them some really solid deals on mattresses. Even to the point where back when Houston was hit… I forget… Too many hurricanes now to remember, but-

Mike McEnaney: Yeah.

Rob Stott: He’s the type of guy where he would open up his showrooms and give people shelter, and that sort of thing. We’ve seen that. We’ve seen mattress retailers that otherwise were shut down start turning their products… They have the slip covers for mattresses and things like that. Turning that around, and making PPE and things that out of their warehouses. There’s a whole bunch.

Mike McEnaney: It’s long-term gains and all of that. You may sacrifice some short-term gains doing that and operating that way, but boy, I think the long-term gains outweigh…

Rob Stott: Yeah. The specific retailer is slipping my mind, but I know there was another member that had an EMT outpost in their town. Their washer and dryer had either gone on the fritz, or they needed new, or they were just looking to… They just donated three sets of washers and dryers to local stations. It’s always those little things like that, that stand out.
Imagine… Not to say that Walmart or Target or someone like that wouldn’t do that, but just how much it means to the local community to have a local business do something like that. It just-

Mike McEnaney: Absolutely. Feel good story, absolutely.

Rob Stott: Yeah, they’re cool. But looking at some trends, we’ve talked a lot about retail. How about on the CE side? You mentioned some autonomous stuff. What are some of the big trends that you guys are following in tech? I miss talking tech all the time. We talk furniture, bedding, appliances. I love them, don’t get me wrong. But consumer electronics is where the heart is.

Nancy Klosek: I jotted down some because I didn’t want to forget any of them that I thought. Smart home devices of course are on the rise in consumer purchase. We just ran an NPD piece saying that one in three homes now has a smart home device. And also smart home security devices for obvious reasons, because people are nesting at home so much and they want to have that sense of security.
Let’s see what else. Of course, ultra large screen TVs. It’s a hottest trends now, as you know. People are captive at home, and they spend more screen hours in front of their TVs. And then they tend to notice how old their TVs are, how sub-par the image is, so they’re looking to buy more of those. Some of that bleeds over I think into appliance buying as well. Your members can probably say for sure about this, but I think it’s beyond an emergency replacement situation. I think there must be more going out the door, because people are home more, they’re doing more wash, they’re paying more attention. They’re using the refrigerator doors more though.

Rob Stott: Certainly. Just thinking anecdotal, thinking about it, personally we don’t own a freezer. We have a garage that has some space. We had a second fridge, but got rid of it, whatever. It was old. It came with the house. But we’re looking now into adding a chest freezer. I know that freezers have been the appliance that has been just… You can’t find it anywhere. It’s on months long back order because people were buying food and grocery stores shelves are empty, you needed somewhere to store that food. That’s a perfect example of that.

Mike McEnaney: Yep. We’ve also seen an uptick, Nancy and I, from our coverage in the health and wellness aspects to a lot of the smart products. I don’t know that manufacturers would have been as upfront about what this particular product that cooks food does and how it makes the food healthier. The robo-vacuums, Ecovac is a good example. They probably wouldn’t have pushed that the vacuum cleaner eliminates 99.3% of bacteria on your floor. Well, they are now because people really care about that. Air purifiers is another one that they’re moving pretty well because again, the manufacturers are telling the retailers that this is a big deal now more than ever. There’s a few products like that in the health and wellness category that have really come to the fore, manufacturers are focusing on those features.

Rob Stott: You think health and wellness on the wearable side. One cool story, kind of made me pine for my Dealerscope days, was Oura, the smart ring, when they struck up the partnership with the NBA before all the players went into the bubble down there in Orlando, and they mentioned that players were going to be wearing it because there was something that the Oura ring tracks that actually could tell some early onsets of COVID.

Mike McEnaney: Apparently, yeah. Absolutely. I saw that as well. We had that product in the last issue of the book. A fascinating product. You’re right, some of those health and wellness things have taken on another layer when you consider what we’re currently living in. So yeah, that product category has a big spotlight on it, and they’re taking advantage, which I get.

Nancy Klosek: I also, through our distributor relationships, heard of good business in a lot of things related to home education, like laptops, and also even things like whiteboards that I would never have associated with education. And conferencing equipment as well. You wouldn’t normally associate a whiteboard with a homeowner somehow, but then again, it’s not just the students who are having to work at home now.

Rob Stott: Teachers. Yeah, teachers that are going virtual, things like that speak to that exactly in our house.

Mike McEnaney: Yeah, distance learning is a thing. It always was, but we didn’t really use it. Now we’re being force-fed distance learning. And Nancy, you’re right, a lot of product categories.

Nancy Klosek: You’ve got kids at home, right?

Mike McEnaney: Yeah, absolutely. I’ve got a college student that is going back in a few days. They weren’t sure for a while, but she’s headed back to Binghamton. And my son is in high school. The school year ended with his introduction to distance learning. Looks like it’s going to begin in a hybrid fashion in a few weeks. So yeah, that’s something that clearly wasn’t we were thinking in our future. Now it is our future. Probably hybrid for a while.

Rob Stott: Another category too that hasn’t come up yet, but I know certainly… Again, speaking from personal example is home networking. Routers, and Wi-Fi, hotspots. All this strain on the home network, people need more speed.

Mike McEnaney: Yep, 100%. Absolutely the case. And we’ve had dealers tell us so.

Nancy Klosek: Couple of others that we found out about is in-car tech. Those are hot commodities, the technology for inside the car, because consumers are looking to bump up that comfort level in that environment as well. Of course custom installation, indoor, outdoor products. A lot of outdoor products are being designed.

Rob Stott: Yeah, because people want to spend that time outside. There’s a lot of awesome trends, so I’m sure lots that you guys will be keeping an eye on. As you look ahead, is there anything else trends-wise or otherwise that you’re hoping to see, or that really excites you about what’s to come?

Rob Stott: I was going to say maybe even from a trade show perspective. We’ve obviously talked about what’s going on with IFA, but what are you guys hearing elsewhere from the myriad other companies that you end up traveling and going to see, and stuff like that?

Mike McEnaney: I think the future of trade shows to be honest, CES will be a great litmus test. Let’s see how a show of that magnitude pulls off a virtual event. But I think even once we’re out of this, I think what’s IFA is going to do is a part physical, part hybrid. That maybe the future of trade shows going forward. It will probably be a money saver. If the virtual part can be done correctly and engagingly, I can’t imagine why that wouldn’t become more a part of what we’ll be used to covering as time goes forward.
What do you think, Nancy? I feel like that could be our future.

Nancy Klosek: I think you’re right. It’s just hard to predict what’s going to happen next year. Who can think that far ahead?

Rob Stott: I know, right?

Mike McEnaney: Getting to the end of each week, yeah. I’m looking forward to the first conversation I have with somebody in the industry that begins with, “I remember COVID.” I can’t wait till we get there. That will be a great conversation starter for me.

Rob Stott: Someday soon.

Mike McEnaney: I hope. Then the other thing I wanted to mention, we’ve got a bunch of Deloitte studies. Omni-channel was always there. It’s always been a part of what these guys need to be about, and what they need to do. But over in Europe, it’s become a really big deal. And we’re being told the retailers that are really mastering that combination of in-store and online engagement are really big winners because you don’t never want people coming back in your store. We’re always going to want to have the website and your online efforts drive traffic to the store. But you also want people buying online because that’s a big part of business today.
There’s a balance going on over in Europe and in China as well, where they seem to be perfecting the whole idea of drawing the customer in and engaging them, but giving them an in-store type experience online that is actually making them want to go to the store, and they’re getting the best of both worlds. I think we’ll see that over here once we get a little further along in conquering this thing.

Rob Stott: We’ve seen it too. We’ve seen stories, whether it’s setting up video appointments online and chatting with the sales rep, or even sales reps walking around the showroom with you on an iPad, this sort of experience, and taking you around the store. There’s all kinds of that sort of stuff that exists now. I know we’ll see it adapt, I’m sure, over time.
But just crazy how… Retail was evolving, but to see it get pushed into this mode where evolution was necessary to keep up with everything that was happening because of this pandemic has just been crazy, but honestly it’s been pretty cool to see those that have done it well and succeed because of it.

Mike McEnaney: Yeah, those folks are leading us into the future, again, by force because they had to do. But I agree with you, it’s not been a horrible thing to see. Just the circumstances are off a bit.

Rob Stott: It’s awesome. I’ve taken up a lot of your guys’ time. I know those newsletters have to go out, I know that the articles got to get written, so I don’t want to-

Mike McEnaney: Nobody knows better than you.

Rob Stott: I do not want to take up any more of your time, but Mike and Nancy, I really appreciate. This was a lot of fun, so thank you guys for sparing some time and chatting with us for a podcast.

Mike McEnaney: Always happy to Rob.

Nancy Klosek: Yeah, take care.

Rob Stott: You too.

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222: The Role of Education in Building a Strong Company Culture at Martin Appliance

222: The Role of Education in Building a Strong Company Culture at Martin Appliance

There are many different elements that help to build (or develop) a company’s culture. How much emphasis you place on certain areas can ultimately help set that culture. For Martin Appliance in central Pennsylvania, education is one area that they’ve decided to invest heavily in – and it’s paying off in a major way.