From the Publisher May/June 2020July 22nd, 2021 by Nathan Hobbs
Why I Am Bucking the Trend
Dislike me if you want, but I hate the phrase “the new normal,” especially when it comes to referring to our current world. In fact, hate is too soft of a word—I despise the phrase. That doesn’t mean I am in denial, because there are some valid reasons for why I have these feelings.
Normal has patterns. Meanwhile, nothing about this is normal—and common patterns are hard to find. I and our entire editorial staff have reported on COVID-19 and its impacts since early March, and one thing has been universal: There are no common trends among all the industries we cover—doors, windows, glass, auto glass and window film. Case in point, I spoke to a window film company owner on Tuesday May 19 who reported his business never slowed down, and he just opened his lobby again to customers where they are filing in. On the flip side, there are those fearful of leaving the house and staying home, and those concerns are valid as well. In case you are saying, “Well that’s window film—an entirely different industry,” I would caution you by saying, “Not so fast.” An online post I made on May 18 in the Window and Door Installers Facebook Group page solicited comments such as, “We only missed four days months ago—been wide open busy ever since!” Another one commented, “We have never slowed down.”
I am in no way making light of this, as I know there is a very real flip side—a devastating one. [DWM] has reported on two door and window manufacturing companies who had to close their doors. While COVID wasn’t the only reason, it played a large role, according to management at both companies. I talked to their managers on the phone and heard their anguish. My heart broke for them and their employees. From time to time, these things happen, but based on the current circumstance, there is nothing normal about these closings.
Here’s what is normal: the industry will bounce back—it always does. I have worked at [DWM]’s parent company for more than 21 years, including through the Great Recession and 9/11. The recession was incredibly tough for all of you—and for me as a reporter. I will never forget sitting in my office day after day, writing about company after company that had to close, and listening to webinar after webinar with the latest housing numbers that fell with each passing month. But that wasn’t a new normal. We clawed our way back, and before COVID-19, many of you all posted record numbers. One company president told me February was their best month ever.
Are things tough? Absolutely! Could it take years for some to bounce back and housing along with it? Unfortunately, yes. Will we travel a little less, work from home more, and think before we shake everyone’s hand? Maybe. But we will get back to a more normal state of things with some changes built in. Shouldn’t we always be adapting to change that is thrown at us? That’s true of any major event isn’t it?
I say yes. Even if you disagree with my definition of normal, I hope you will adapt to the changes taking place as you have all the others that have come before it.
And to help you along the way, this issue of [DWM] is a great place to start. Never in our magazine’s 20-year history have we received more new product submissions than we have for this edition of the Annual Guide to New Products (see page 30). And when it comes to navigating through all the changes taking place right now, you will find advice on that all throughout these pages. So go through it, mark it up, and be ready for when things are on the upswing again, because it will come back and the industry will survive. I hope that is one thing we can agree on.
Tara Taffera is the publisher of [DWM] magazine.
To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.