Auto Glass Week Preview Day, held Jan. 12, gave attendees the opportunity to get a sneak peek of what to expect during the live show in June.
During the event a COVID session dominated discussions, as a panel of auto glass experts discussed how their businesses were impacted by the coronavirus, some of the changes they implemented and what they see going forward for the industry.
The session was moderated by AGRR magazine’s editorial director, Tara Taffera, and included Ted Andersen, vice president of franchising at Novus Inc.; Jon Laski, CEO at City Auto Glass; and Peter Brown, president of Tiny & Son’s Auto Glass.
Taffera asked each of the panelists to describe how the past few months to a year has been for their businesses while trying to navigate COVID-19.
Brown said the past six months were very challenging for his company and Massachusetts was “very strict as far as the COVID rules,” which caused him to close his businesses for three weeks between the end of March and the middle of April.
“We were able to reopen because we are an essential business and they called us to open because we do a lot of work for fire departments, police and a lot of fleet companies," said Brown. “The hardest part of our business right now is the employee retention and everybody being positive about doing the touchless business aspect.”
Laski recalled his company’s experience during the start of the pandemic, and noted there were concerns not only for the customers getting the virus, but also his associates.
“They were challenging and sometimes scary times,” he said.
Andersen said Novus’ business plummeted at the end of March 2020.
“At the end of March our business dropped 50% from where it was in 2019 and we’ve never experienced a sales drop like that in one month ever, so it was quite astounding,” Andersen recalled.
He noted the company did start to pick back up in June, from what he said was a result of...