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Lipton's Can Cook!

Lipton’s can cook!

I’m a pretty handy guy around the kitchen-especially during a pandemic! I work from home so I have the time to do most of the shopping, and the cooking as well! When the pandemic hit, I (finally) bought my first cast iron skillet and after a proper seasoning-have been giving it a workout.

Good to know something in this house is getting a workout!

Here’s a picture of the pork roast you missed. Leftovers were gone in a day so you’re going to have to take my word for it; it tasted as good as it looks! Especially with my homemade apple sauce!

My sister Marci is even better in the kitchen than I am! Whether it’s her standing rib roast or penne a la vodka, it’s best to show up at Marci’s house hungry.

But despite the cooks we’ve got on-hand, since we got to Florida to help my father get through his health crisis, we’ve been leaving the cooking to others and doing takeout: One less thing to worry about, in a time filled with great worry.

Everything was going just fine; Chinese, pizza, hoagies. Until mom announced that she had had enough junk food and was going to cook us all dinner.

My eyes met my sister’s and using our “sibling superpowers” we read each other’s thoughts:

“OH SHIT!”

“But Mark, I thought you said Lipton’s can cook?”

I did! My mother is a Gersh!

Out of respect for my mother, I won’t spend the rest of this blog telling you about the time my sister asked “mom, are there hot dogs in this meatloaf?” As a kid, I looked forward to my parents enjoying a “date night!” because it meant I got to eat Chef Boyardee or a Swanson’s frozen TV dinner.

A significant upgrade from anything mom was likely to put out!

I’ve been getting some work done between the crying and the laughing. The distraction of work helps me deal with the stress of seeing a parent so sick. One of the projects I’ve been working on is in e-commerce; a dealer hired me to research their e-commerce options, develop a plan and install an e-commerce solution for his business. I’m learning all I can because this is a wave that will not be going out to sea anytime soon.

I continue to be impressed with the work being done by THE Farnsworth Group relating the effects of Covid on our segment of the economy. If you’re not following their work, you need to and can find it here. Here are some highlights: Consumers who are looking to spend money on paint and other home improvement projects are continuing their migration….more like exodus….to buying online.

Their work at Farnsworth continues to show the shifting consumer behavior among both DIY consumers and contractors. The DIY segment continues to thrive and many independent paint retailers are currently making bank!

For now!

But now never lasts forever and when the economy normalizes and consumers stop buying paint in a Covid-frenzy, a significant portion of the consumers in our segment will be set in their new online buying patterns. While the number of consumers who are looking to shop in a store is relatively stable at the moment (down only 5% according to Farnsworth) the number of people shopping for home improvement products (including paint) online is sky-rocking: up 50% for online-delivered to home and up over 80% for online-pick-up in store.

That says EIGHTY!

An e-commerce investment for your stores will be the gift that keeps on giving! This trend existed for years and was only accelerated by Covid. And it does more to level the playing field versus the big box stores than any change of the last 30 years! More than leveling it, it even slants it our way! With a good e-commerce solution and robust social media, you can sell to and then market to consumers who continue to show preference for locally owned small businesses. You can connect with your local customers in a way that a national chain will never be able to do. Whether consumers desire to buy from locally owned businesses or they just have a preference for our small and often less crowded stores-this is a significant advantage for independents.

Finally....an opportunity to grow market share! For the first time in decades. But only if we are online to meet the consumers.

By now you must be thinking “Mark, enough with the e-commerce.”

No!

Please, don’t spend any time thinking that this is all a response to the Covid outbreak. This trend was happening anyway. This IS your future.

All Covid did was hurry it along.




Three generations of Tremont Paint: Billy, Jack and me!


©2019 by Mark Lipton

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