Bring on the new decade

CONSIDERING THAT THIS PAST DECADE brought us two recessions, 9/11, the massive postal rate hike of 2007, the banking crisis of 2008 and unemployment rates not seen since the early 1980s, most of us couldn’t be happier to be ushering in 2010.

Not that the past 10 years were all bad. The real estate price run up — which led to the housing collapse that everyone is now complaining about — did bring years of prosperity for many merchants, as consumers feeling flush about their home equity spent with abandon.

And advancements in e-mail marketing, search, rich media and Web usability brought new ways for catalogers and retailers to sell goods online and hone their e-commerce channels. Plus, social media gave us all new ways to reach out to customers, colleagues and acquaintances.

The way we all do business is changing fast, and while that can be scary, it’s also exciting.

We should know: We’ve undergone more major changes in the past five years than we did for our first 20, including changing our name from Catalog Age to Multichannel Merchant in 2005, redesigning our trim size from a tabloid to a standard in 2008 and now delivering much more of our content online vs. in print. (Print’s still not dead yet, though — not for us and not for you.)

You’ve probably made many changes to your business in recent years as well. We aim to learn more about what you’ve had to do, what you want to do and what you plan to do in the near future with a comprehensive research study we’re rolling out in December.

We’ll be using the findings to better target our coverage and offer new products and services to help you run your companies and better navigate the seas of change.

While we’re all hoping 2010 will be better than 2009 (and 2008), it won’t be an easy year. But we’ll be here to help you, as we have been for more than 25 years.

On behalf of the entire team here at Multichannel Merchant, have a happy, healthy and prosperous new year and new decade.

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