A.I. and IoT has hit my office once again. Let me go back to 1990. PC’s were pretty new and very expensive. Fax machines just launched. Voice mail was yet to be invented. For me to place an order with a vendor I had to call the vendor and read each line item. When I left the office for lunch or a day off, my desk would be littered with pink “While You Were Out” notes. My desk had a computer, phone, stapler, Scotch tape dispenser, pencil sharpener, scissor, paper clips and an OKI 192 printer (at least I didn’t have to deal with the IBM Selectronic!). I barely had room to write a note.
Fast forward to today and voila! The only thing on my desk is my 21” Mac. The phone is gone! It is now incorporated into the MAC. It uses the MAC microphone. Not only can I make and receive calls, but I can chat, I can review voicemail through Outlook (which transcribes it and notifies me if it a Robocall), I can do group calls and so much more. Totally amazing. Then again, who calls anymore?
So happy that daylight savings time is here, Spring is here and warmer weather is right around the corner. Add a full dose of sunshine we have been getting along with optimism in regards to vaccines to Biden’s $1.9T gift, it could be the start of good times ahead. Finally.
We are seeing a bit of this optimism in business too. Already pedi supplies are moving out quickly and that is really good news indeed. Vegas just announced 50% capacity and they are booking events into 2022. Planes are getting full again with more than 1.3 million Americans traveling last Friday alone. But pedi’s are a better barometer of the economy because women rule it. One wildcard post-pandemic everyone has been wondering about is exactly what services consumers are going to go back to and what services will they stop. Salons and gyms are especially on the edge. Take Peloton for example. If you spent $2500 for a spinning bike, are you going to take live spinning classes at a gym once masks are no longer required?
I always said the best thing about mani’s and pedi’s is that online companies cannot offer them and even the best at-home products can’t make up for the expertise of the nail tech. Same is true for facials and massages. I think there is a huge pent up demand for these services along with traveling and going out to enjoy entertainment. And now with more than $1.8T in savings ready to be spent, demand could be off the charts.
One big question economists are asking is related to inflation. With so much goods coming from China in containers, costs are skyrocketing. Container shipments that used to cost $4500 are now $8000 and booking is not easy. Chinese factories have been raising prices at least 3-6% and now with gas at record prices since the pandemic, other items are going up too. Look for higher prices, reduced counts or sizes of products and other cost-savings measures in 2021.
Want to sell your car? At carvana.com, you just enter your license or registration number, answer a few questions and in seconds they will tell you the value and pick your car up. With new car deliveries all taking place virtually, why do we need dealerships anymore except for service?
Just an FYI, my next pedi is booked for tomorrow at PAINT. PAINT is one of a handful of franchises run by a really nice couple based in Florida. Their concept is solid and offers a refreshing and relaxing approach to mani’s and pedi’s. One of the best parts of being in the beauty business is checking out new and exciting salon concepts. Our industry certainly can use a little innovation especially now with consumers excited to get out.