The Year That Was: Comments from CSIA/CNSF Members

Bill Scullion, Shimano

If you would have asked me this question back in March/April, I probably would have said that the year seemed to be “catastrophic” as we watched the rapid spread of CV-19 force entire countries to start shutting down their economies. Once bustling streets started to resemble ghost towns, health care systems were overwhelmed, stock markets crashed, people lost jobs and bankruptcies increased. Then add to that, wildfires burning out of control, a rise in social movements, riots and protests being a common occurrence and toilet paper for god’s sake almost became a currency!

Yet here we are, nearing the end of 2020 and yes there’s no doubt that our industry sustained some casualties this past year but as the dust settles, and we see cases rise once again, it’s my opinion anyways, that within our industry there seems to be a certain sense of “optimism” to face this new wave and one that we didn’t see at the start of 2020. Our sales are certainly reflecting that opinion and I feel that the shock factor of the “unpredictable” has waned and we’ve grown accustomed to our “new normal” world. 2020 was certainly unprecedented in terms of challenges to our industry and business models were certainly tested. Many weaknesses were flushed out. Our industry had to pivot quickly and find ways to adapt, not only as a necessary means of survival for the immediate term but long term as well. We reallocated resources, innovation was adopted and more flexible, resilient business models evolved. Online retail platforms and digital marketing solutions became more of a priority than ever before. Heading into 2021, we can be 100% certain of one thing, that we CAN’T be 100% certain of what challenges lie ahead however, I’m optimistic that our learnings from 2020 have made our industry better prepared than ever to face whatever obstacles challenges do come our way.