Fortitude By Debbie Eisele

Debbie Eisele, managing editor for museums&MOREThe retail climate, as we all know, has been extremely challenging in 2020. In light of the ups and downs of this roller coaster year, I’d like to share a quote from Helen Keller that I have thought of quite often since March: “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”

Almost overnight our industry dramatically changed and none of us were quite prepared. Yet the industry has survived, new operating procedures have evolved, and retail is still active; both online and in physical stores. We are fortunate to have extremely creative professionals in the industry, all with the strength to work outside of comfort zones and to develop innovative ways to continue successfully.

The year-end push is here and the Marketing Tips article on page 30 offers practical ideas to finish strong. You can also be inspired by searching all the merchandise highlighted in the Product Galleries that begin on page 12.

This issue’s Destination: Walnut Grove features The Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum on page 26. Although this museum was closed to the public from the start of the pandemic through early July, it has shown its grit and determination to succeed now that it has reopened.

Most retail stores within cultural destinations have faced multiple challenges due to COVID-19, but one destination retailer, Great Wolf Lodge, revealed how it prevailed in light of the closures and social distancing both at its water park and in its stores on page 22.

In closing, read these words of wisdom from Maya Angelou: “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” Don’t give up — stay creative and focus on what can be done, even if it is different from what you have always done. Stay healthy and safe!

Until next issue,

Debbie Eisele

Debbie Eisele

Debbie Eisele is the former managing editor for Gift Shop Plus, Stationery Trends and a variety of special issue publications, including: The Guide, Holiday Shop, Celebrations & Occasions and Waterfront Living.

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