It seems like every company has decided to tip their toes into the PPE market because of demand and the COVID-19 pandemic. However, like playing Texas Hold’em, you have to be prepared to go “all-in” to win and that is exactly what I have done. Recently, we opened the first stores focused not only in beauty products but PPE and our customers are loving them. Just yesterday, we opened our third TNG WORLDWIDE COMPANY STORE in Shelby Township, just north of 21 Mile Rd. on Van Dyke.
The press is loving them too. We were recently featured on NBC’s Detroit affiliate, WDIV, you can watch here. And we were featured on ABC’s Detroit affiliate, WXYZ, you can watch here. It is so great to assist small businesses of all types as we all grapple for success in the post-pandemic economy.
Speaking of the economy, the NASDAQ keeps hitting new highs while the DOW is only about 10% below its peak. With record unemployment, record bankruptcies and record number of small businesses not even opening, you wonder how this can be. The answer is pretty simple actually. Look at the companies that have broken out: Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, Zoom, Wayfair and other tech stocks that have excelled during these trying times. Mind you many resorts and hotels have yet to reopen. Travel is still down upwards of 80% and in Michigan, gyms are finally opening this Thursday. Detroit’s three casinos are still closed with no opening date announced.
Salons that I have been tracking have all been doing very well even with all the new guidelines put into place. That is good news indeed. Barbers are especially busy because let’s face it, guys have simple needs when it comes to hair. The only category that is still suffering is spas as many destination spas are still closed and those that are open are not offering facials, locker rooms or any relaxation areas (sauna, steam, whirlpool).
With COVID-19 peaking in many south and southwest states, what is going to happen next? Some claim this is the second wave, but sorry, we are still in the first wave. It’s like so many people decided not to participate in the safety guidelines and are partying like it was 2019. Even in Michigan, especially Northern Michigan, many bars, restaurants and golf courses are not practicing social distancing or wearing masks. When the governor of Texas is talking about the remote possibility of closing, you know there are serious issues looming.
Like PPE, I am amazed how many companies got into the hand sanitizer business. Unfortunately for many, they are not following strict FDA guidelines and producing illegal products. The FDA just warned about nine of these made in Mexico. Fact is you have to register your label with the FDA and your products have to be made in a factory registered with the FDA. All our products are made in FDA accordance.
What’s hot right now is our ForPro Infrared Touchfree Dispensers, both counter and wall mount units (and floor stand). These can be used with our best-selling Ginger Lily Farms Botanicals Hand Soap (Fragrance-Free or Apple Pear) or ForPro Hand Sanitizer Gel (ours is pourable so perfect for dispensers).
One thing I have learned during the pandemic is the crazy assortment of paper products that companies make. For instance, with Costco out of stock on many items, we bought Bounty, Charmin and Vanity Fair napkins on Amazon and other resellers. I cannot believe how many configurations Bounty comes in, how many roll sizes Charmin comes in and how Vanity Fair decided to get rid of Impressions and update to Entertain napkins. BTW, Entertain napkins are terrible!
As I mentioned earlier gyms are opening Thursday. I was the first Equinox member in Michigan and love the gym. But truthfully I am not going to rush back especially since I have a great routine at home. I’m going to start with a few yoga classes as those seem to be the least restrictive. But showers, pools and steam areas I am not sure about. And wearing a mask while sweating, no way.
Last tidbit, I used to buy my Perrier, Propel and sparkling water in cans at Costco. Now I have them delivered by Amazon for the same price. Tell me how Amazon can make money shipping Propel 12-ct package for $6.38? It costs us more than that to ship a package that weighs that much, let alone the value of the contents. It’s no wonder Amazon is cleaning up and keeps hitting new highs.