It doesn’t seem possible that we are winding down another year – It just can’t be! As is our most important company tradition, I would like to begin this message by saying “Thank You.” No different than when my grandparents founded The Gerson Companies over 75 years ago, we exist because of our customers and would like to extend our gratitude for our continued partnership. All of our associates, living throughout four countries, embrace our company core value of “Our Customers Matter” and work very hard to earn your business every day.
2017 Year At A Glance
As we all continue to navigate a quickly changing retail environment, we have much to be thankful for this year. We understand the challenges, and greatly appreciate your faith in The Gerson Companies to partner in your success. In 2017, our sales were even with last year, which is both a good news and bad news story. Every year, we set our goals to include sales increases over the previous year, no different than all businesses. So while we are disappointed, I can’t remember a year that seemed to be more challenging with so many changes to the retail landscape, and I have been working here for 35 years!
In 2017, we accomplished a lot together:
- Giftbeat once again featured Gerson throughout the year as a favorite vendor among independent retailers. In its most recent November issue, Giftbeat published Gerson as retailers #1 choice for Seasonal/Halloween & décor.
- Evolved and reorganized our Customer Service and Sales departments to focus on enhancing and improving the customer experience.
- Reinforced our reputation as the leader in our industry by adding 1,828 new independent retailers to the Gerson Family of customers in 2017. Many new retailers were attracted to the company by Gerson International™ and our Lone Elm Studios® product lines, which achieved a combined 30.1% sales increase this year.
What To Expect in 2018
We will continue to be profitable and reinvest in support of our customers and The Gerson Companies’ future in 2018. Our plans are set, and I am very excited for what the next year will bring! We are introducing in a new brand, Flint Hills Studio™, more new innovative product at great pricing, and new technology to help grow our customers’ sales.
In 2018, our customers will experience:
- Specifically designed technology to support our independent customers. G-Commerce, a new drop ship fulfillment program, will be introduced in January to offer an exciting, “no-risk” way to help our customers grow e-commerce sales and their brands.
- Our new family members Darryl, Horace, Bella, among many others, will put a smile on your face and dollars in your cash register! Flint Hills Studio™, a beautifully crafted and exclusively designed product line, will debut in Atlanta and Las Vegas this January.
- New and innovative designs in our seasonal product offering from Gerson International™ – the industry’s most popular and competitively priced seasonal décor offering. We are looking forward to GIL continuing its double digit year-over-year sales growth in 2018.
We have immense gratitude for our relationships with our customers, and look forward to continuing to improve and become more important to you this coming year. We appreciate the faith you have placed in our company by allowing us to support your business.
Have a great holiday season!
Jim Gerson & The Gerson Family