We know what you are thinking: "Oh great, not another article about the Internet." Well folks, we hate to be the ones to break it to you but the Internet is here to stay. It is not a fad, and it is not going away. It will take over our lives and our businesses as we now know them.
We were scared at first, too. Every meeting we'd go into, the first question was always, "How will the Internet affect us and the industry in which we serve?" So we started conducting research . . . and more research. You probably have noticed all the articles on how computers have changed the window coverings retail business and read innovative ideas on how you can increase your bottom line through Internet marketing. We instituted our first "On-line" column in April 1996 to begin familiarizing our readers with the capabilities of the World Wide Web.
The Internet is not going away and neither is this magazine! Every month you can count on us to deliver the latest research on new products, changing business strategies and how the Internet will affect the way you currently sell and market your products. Each new issue will give you everything you need to gain information in today's fast-changing business environment. Combine a multi-billion dollar professional window coverings industry with a soaring economy, an information hungry global market and the accessibility of the Internet, and you have more opportunities than ever before.
Our cover story this month interviews forward thinking retailers, fabricators and manufacturers who have already used the Internet to enhance the way they do business. They chose to share with our readers their tips and advice on why and how they got started. Research tells us that by the year 2010, 25 percent of retailing will take place on-line. But don't let that figure scare you. It is not all about selling on-line. A good portion of that is about finding more information about products so you have a more informed consumer before he or she visits your store. In the future, retail stores will become more of a product display instead of a mini-warehouse. Consumers still will want to touch it and see it before they buy it-but they may not necessarily want to carry it.
The key to success is accurately and quickly deciding which opportunities are the right ones for your company. And that's a big part of our mission-to inform you of what's out there and how it's all changing. Because if you don't know, you will miss your chance.