2020 & 2021
Year 24 & 25
*** By the way ... there's a Contact Us Form at the very bottom of this page in case that's what you're looking for***
2020 was one heck of a year to say the least! I am dubbing 2020 as The Year of Weird!
Things started out quite normal but then took an abnormal twist when COVID-19 entered our lives and the store was forced to shut down at 5pm on March 21. Being proclaimed as "non-essential", Kiss The Sky remained closed until the State of Illinois entered Phase 4 of the Recover Illinois Plan and was allowed to reopen on May 29. That was 68 days of being down and out, or just about two months and a week ... nearly 20% of the year lost due to COVID.
During that period, the store lost a ton of Revenue and Profit even though we tried to engage in Home Delivery and Curbside Pickup business. What business we did experience was very much appreciated and it helped. We truly, warmly and whole heartedly thank those who supported us during those dark days. We love you.
Just prior to the shutdown, Record Store Day, which for the past several years had grown to become our "Christmas in April", was postponed to June. That postponement to June was repostponed and changed in format about 30 days after it was intially postponed. The "new deal" was that Record Store Day would be split into three separate "drops" occurring on Saturdays at the end of August, September and October. That change would actually prove out to be a very good thing for us.
From the time we reopened at the end of May, things were a bit strange but you could tell that something different was happening ... something positive was afoot and taking place.
During the summer, folks were staying put for the most part while also getting into listening to their records more than usual. Young people were discovering the world and sound of vinyl records resulting in a dramatic increase in turntable and record sales.
Although people were reluctant to venture out all that much, for some reason, a trip to the record store seemed "essential" and we therefore experienced increases in business during June and July. The increases were also, very importantly, a result of the community's desire to support local area businesses in general. That fact was perhaps the most encouraging and heart-warming part of the whole summer experience.
From the end of summer until the beginning of November, things were stressful but business was very good. The stress came from having to put in a ton of hours, hitting between 70 and 80 a week, due to the fact that business was being conducted a little bit differently as in lots of phone calls, emails and texts ... sometimes a thousand of those just to complete a sale of a single Fleetwood Mac record!
However, it was very much worth all of the time and effort to say the least. From the beginning of June until the end of October, that loss that we experienced earlier in the year was offset and zeroed out. Unbelievably, we were back on track to at least equaling the previous year. Fortunate ... lucky ... grateful ... and just maybe "essential" ... at least to some of us.
At year's end, things were what we deemed abnormally normal. In other words, sales were good and people were slowly but surely returning to dropping by and catching up. On the other hand, we stopped having live music be a big part of what we do and a long time friend and part of Kiss The Sky (Mike) retired.
As we turned the corner into the New Year, we set our sights on another 18 months as a new lease was entered into back in July and I thought that perhaps this ain't such a bad retirement gig after all and why not try to make it to 75 (as in when I turn 75 ... not 75 years in business)!
All that being said, we shall see where things head and end up landing. For now, we'll enjoy the ride and look forward to things getting less abnormally normal and more normal normal.
Hope to see you soon ...
All the best ...