Chris Means

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Chairman’s Message: The Dog Days of Summer

Posted by Chris Means on 8/2/22 9:38 AM

The dog days of summer are setting in around South Carolina. That means smoldering temperatures will be with us another month or two. Our city planners in Columbia weren’t the most creative when they coined the phrase, “Famously Hot.” Visitors to our fine city were greeted with this slogan (or warning) as they arrived via our airport. Billboards around the city reminded residents and travelers alike that there was little we could do outside unless we were at the lake or in an air-conditioned building.

As the summer daylight wanes, I’ll look forward to more activities and the fall festivals that ramp up as temps get more bearable. In the mean time, as you read this, I’ll probably be in North Carolina hosting our first dealer show since pre-covid times. It certainly is nice to be able to gather for business or fun without dealing with mask mandates or restrictions!

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Chairman’s Message: The Midway Point of 2022

Posted by Chris Means on 7/6/22 8:47 AM

Summer usually means slowing down and enjoying time with family and friends. It is a time to travel and see the wonders of this county (or Grandma’s backyard)! But this year, we are certainly seeing some changes that will influence our normal summer routines.

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Chairman’s Message: Addressing the Real Problem

Posted by Chris Means on 6/1/22 1:37 PM

Each month, as I reflect on pressing topics to include in column, I look forward to highlighting positives, such as growing diversification in the demographics of our industry, or on the great initiatives that NASGW is bringing to help all channels in our industry unite to strengthen our independency on outside forces that serve nothing but the politicians who seek to shut us down. Sadly though, sometimes I need to address topics that we hate to hear about, like the tragic attack in Uvalde, TX. The polarizing debate on gun control is already happening in the news, while families who lost a child are struggling in ways I can’t imagine. Surviving classmates will undoubtedly carry this vision in their minds for the rest of their lives. No one should have to endure such atrocities in this country.

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Chairman’s Message: Be The Change

Posted by Chris Means on 5/3/22 3:31 PM

“Change” is a word we hear frequently these days. Change is inevitable. Change is necessary to remain relevant. Our economy changes with a word from the right person. Change can be good or bad, but regardless of the outcome, we need to be ready to roll with whatever it brings and be at the forefront of the changing world.

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Chairman’s Message: Exciting Times at NASGW

Posted by Chris Means on 4/1/22 10:05 AM

Heritage and longevity are something that many businesses in our industry understand. NASGW is no different. 2023 will mark the 70th anniversary of NASGW. This organization has been around longer than most of us have been alive. The organization has changed numerous times over the years as NASGW was initially founded as Sporting Goods Jobbers Association in 1953. It’s no surprise that things are much different in 2022 than when NASGW began, as are the businesses and industry NASGW serves. In the past 5-6 years, we have recently seen quite a few changes, including the Annual Expo, SCOPE, and the services NASGW provides.

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Chairman’s Message: Dealing With Disruption

Posted by Chris Means on 2/28/22 4:21 PM

The last two to three years have been a whirlwind, if you haven't noticed. It seems like it's been one challenge after another. From Covid to riots, supply chain issues to staffing shortages, more supply chain issues and major inflation. When will it all end? And just recently, we've been glued to the TV watching the invasion of Ukraine, knowing very well this will lead to some form of disruption, the first impact probably being oil and gas prices.

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Chairman’s Message: Time Will Tell

Posted by Chris Means on 1/31/22 2:25 PM

Reflecting back on this year’s SHOT Show, I have mixed reviews. For one, the absence of many non-essential people made it much easier to maneuver the aisles on the way to meetings and avoided the 5 minute scramble of someone trying to find the person we were scheduled to see. Coming off two record years for our industry, attitudes were very positive. Our vendor partners are still hesitant to offer any special programs as there are still pockets of strong demand. However, we are starting to see the inevitable slowdown and the accompanying overstocks. Despite our best efforts, it’s impossible to perfectly predict when to shut orders down while still capitalizing on sales opportunities. That’s why vendor communication is critical and a unified voice from NASGW members is needed. So now we press forward and get creative again in our business strategies, something we tend to ignore when demand draws inventory down and customers are eager to prepay to get more.

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Chairman’s Message: Goodbye 2021, Hello 2022

Posted by Chris Means on 1/3/22 12:39 PM

Happy New Year! As we close out 2021, I’m filled with a sense of accomplishment for the goals I’ve fulfilled in my work and personal life, but a little emotional for the events that filled my life with joy and pride. I’m not one to wish away the years, but I think we can all agree that we’ll be relieved to see America grow out of the restraints of COVID and political challenges. We have a pile of work to do before we get back to “normal”, but we are resilient. We’ve survived many attacks on our industry and have continued to grow stronger. We haven’t faced our last hurdle, by any means, but will carry what we’ve learned from the battles we’ve won into 2022 with an increased fervor!

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