The Year in Review
In the year during Covid:
There is really no easy way to sum things up this year: terrifying; lonely; stressful; worrisome; isolating; sad. But also, heroic; redeeming; hopeful. March was maddening. We closed our stores for what we thought would be two weeks. At the time, two weeks seemed like a lifetime to me. And then, two weeks turned into two-and-a-half months. We all quarantined at home to wait out the storm. June was a month of resiliency. We made it through the stay-at-home order and we reopened. But not until we witnessed protests and riots in reaction to senseless deaths, followed by a rash of senseless property destruction and looting. Our city looked like a war-torn country with merchants all over Chicagoland boarding up their storefronts. We had to adjust to the new norms: hand sanitizers; masks; social distancing. These became part of everyone’s daily routine. July was a month of heroism. We honored all the front-line workers who risked their lives to save others who had the virus. August seemed a bit more hopeful still. People were back in the parks enjoying the outdoors, even as the Mayor kept the city’s beaches on lockdown. September was filled with sadness when Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away. In October, our country was faced with devastating wildfires. And, Covid was still here. In November, Kamala Harris became the first woman, and person of color, to become VP-elect. We women had something to cheer about. Now, in December, we see a glimmer of hope; two vaccines with at least 90% efficacy. At last, we are beginning to see a light at the end of what has been a very dark tunnel.
During the months of Covid, fashion trends changed. People working from home meant heels, pumps, strappy sandals - all the chic accouterments of dressing up for the office, dining out, cocktail hours, clubbing, etc, - were no longer de rigueur. In their place, customers opted for the comfy and cozy: sweats; tie dye; sneakers; slippers. With so many working people homebound, Zoom became the new commute. We pivoted, bulking up our inventory with these newly sought after categories and putting extra effort into supporting our expanding online biz.
All this just goes to show that, as always, we have to remain ever vigilant and responsive to the needs of our customers.
Will we ever get back to “normal” or some kind of “new normal”? Well, the vaccines are on the way, more people are following the rules of social distancing, and a new administration is on its way in. But, most importantly, I’m confident that we, the Lori’s community, are resilient and strong. So, let’s put 2020 behind us and forge ahead with a renewed sense of hope. Let’s make 2021 an incredible comeback year. Let’s all stay healthy, safe, and strong as we meet the challenges of 2021 head on.
I wish all of you a Happy, healthy New Year!
With much love and respect,
A Holiday thought:
As difficult as this time has been for our business, we have not forgotten those whose challenges have been even greater. We, with the help of your continued support of our business throughout this pandemic, have contributed to the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund, the Greater Chicago Food Depository, the Healey Center for ALS at Massachusetts General Hospital, and I AM ALS. We could not have made these contributions to these worthy organizations without your help.