Blast From the Past

Shut It Down

My first “real” job out of college was for a manufacturer who shuttered the shop for a week in July and the week between Christmas and New Year’s. An archaic business practice if there ever was one.

The plant shutdown was a common occurrence in the ad specialty industry, too, especially at year’s end which could create havoc for “jobbers” looking to get last-minute Christmas orders filled. Imagine working with a tardy client, finally getting them to commit to a product then calling a supplier only to discover that … they’re closed.

Counselor magazine to the rescue! Each October, it provided the Cut-Off Date and Shipping Survey Report which alerted readers to when they needed to have their Christmas orders in if they wanted their goods on time. A must read.

But, would this practice of skipping town be feasible today? While I’m sure there are firms out there that still close up shop, today’s market has too many last-minute holiday orders. Sending people home for the holidays could result in lost business for everyone.

So while you’re toiling away like Bob Cratchit on Christmas Eve, think back to simpler times when half the industry was at home “making merry.” Until then, enjoy this selection of findings from October Counselors.