On the way to the Nashville airport a few weeks ago, traffic was jammed. It wasn’t an accident or construction, it was a half-mile-long line of cars to get into the Opry Mills Mall. A fluke, I thought; it was after all the first pretty weekend following a long cold winter. But last weekend it was the same thing, the mall was jamming again. I could only think of one word: “Wow.”
Nashville Wraps ended February with almost a 20% increase in order volume over the same period in 2009. That’s a hard act to follow, and we are scurrying with inventories but it is a good problem to have.
Out of recession and into inflation?
Most people are starting to believe that the 2008-2009 recession is over, but the “New Normal” isn’t. The changes brought on by recession are long term and are far from over. Businesses holding on until we are out of recession and expecting things to be the same as before probably have a shock coming.
Think about this… Gasoline is up on average 70 cents a gallon from one year ago and that’s during recessionary times. As soon as the economy starts picking up, especially as people are traveling more, look for gas prices to be in the mid $3+ range. Going along for the ride will be fuel-related costs and raw material increases. We have already seen 5% to 6% increases in paper, cardboard and plastic resin, but it is far from over.
Factories returning to work in China after the recent Chinese new year holiday are finding significantly fewer workers and higher prices for labor. While this is somewhat good news for everyone who competes against Chinese imports, it is even more fuel to inflationary fires. No one is immune.
Keeping your business close to home…
One of the best hedges against inflation, increasing fuel costs, and dependency on import products is to reduce the need for long-distance transport of materials and finished goods. Keeping products local not only can provide clever niche products with which you can compete against large chains, it also helps strengthen the local economy. To start a local concept, first begin with products made in America, then your state, then your community…but start!
While Nashville Wraps sells products made from China and other countries we do so in most cases where these products are not made in America. Some products we have helped create domestic production where none existed before. You will find the county of origin specified on every product we sell so there is no guesswork.
Sustainable packaging news
We are off to the big Natural Products Show “ExpoWest” this week in Anaheim. An estimated 50,000 attendees are expected. Natural Products are still one of the fastest-growing retail segments. We will provide market intel from that soon.
Also see our newly updated Green Way® web page and get your free green packaging counter card.