Is it Groundhog Day?
In February it’s Groundhog Day in the US. For those of you unfamiliar with the event, according to folklore if a groundhog emerges from the ground then spring will come early; if not we’ll have another six weeks of winter. A well-known US film created another association with the day, portraying a man who got stuck in a time loop, repeating the same day again and again.
As I pack my bags for Paperworld this year I feel a little bit as though I’m stuck on Groundhog Day. My predictions for the show are the same each year: I’ll see the same exhibitors, there will be news of tough trading, I’ll wear my feet out and it’ll definitely be cold. There are good things about all this; I can catch up with contacts, for example, and 50,000 is a lot of visitors. On the whole, though, I think a change is needed.
Sometimes it seems to me that the whole industry is stuck on Groundhog Day. Although I’ve only known the OP world for two years or so, I’m aware that many of the themes discussed in this issue’s Hot Topic – and in part one published in the December/January issue – are repeating topics. The dealer group versus wholesaler debate isn’t new. But I do think that e-commerce is taking the industry in a new direction that means all players need to assess what they’re doing.
Taking the more traditional tale of Groundhog Day, now the US has avoided the fiscal cliff, will spring finally arrive? There’s still a long way to go before the economy is mended, but hopefully things are moving that way. If any US readers do happen to see the groundhog on 2 February, let me know and I’ll put away my fur hat (once I’ve returned from Frankfurt!).
Felicity Francis, Editor