2022: A Challenging Year, but we have Endured and Prevailed

2022: A Challenging Year, but we have Endured and Prevailed
Good morning,
   On this icy wet morning, I have been tasked to write to you about the challenges that Trav's Outfitter has experienced in 2022.

   With my 37th Christmas season winding down, I am even more convinced that no two years are the same. 2020 and 2021 were marked with supply chain issues. We have been ordering product earlier and earlier to get delivery. Today, December 13th, over half of the product that we will be offering for sale in Fall '23 have been ordered.

   Even with these early order deadlines there is no guarantee that our brands will be able to deliver on time in nine months. In short, getting the right goods is still a big challenge.

   Because I have always believed in diversification, even in the toughest years, we have had sufficient amounts of products. Maybe not the exact color or brand, but we will always have goods here at Trav's.

   This year we have endured A LOT of price pressure from our vendors. We have watched as vendors have raised the price that they charge us; sometimes multiple times in one year.

   The boss that I had for over 18 years always told me to never miss a price increase. What she meant was, eventually we will need to raise our price. If we skip a vendor price increase, when we need to go up, the new retail will be so high that it will alarm the consumer.

   So at Trav's we still follow her wise advice. We don't raise prices because we like to, we do it so we can support the 40 employees that we have and so we can remain a viable business.

   This year we have witnessed a unique challenge. Our vendors in many cases, have chosen to heavily discount not only during Black Friday weekend, but throughout the entire Christmas shopping season. We have done our best to remain competitive with them, but we would not survive if we matched all of the crazy pricing in our industry currently. 

   At Trav's we have always been about value. We believe that we still bring value to each sale simply because of our level of service. We also are proud of our staff and all that they contribute to our surrounding communities as well as Watertown.

   Staffing has continued to be challenging.  We have lost a couple of staff members to other companies here in Watertown. That is always hard. But we wish them the very best.

   In closing today, I don't want to miss a huge opportunity to talk about my faith. In spite of all of the challenges that we have faced in 2022, God has been so faithful to Trav's Outfitter. It is this steadying faithfulness that guides our direction. I often share that when God no longer wants me in retail, he will show me. Until He shows me another place that He wants me, Trav's will be here. I am confident that we will endure.

   Many of you have had challenges in 2022.  A lot of those challenges have been far tougher than the ones I have just written about. For you, like me, God sent Jesus so we might have hope in the midst of seemingly unbearable circumstances. Jesus, the light of the world, was sent to comfort, redeem, and offer hope to ALL!

Merry Christmas,



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