Giving Thanks Amid the Challenges of 2020

COVID-19 provoked anxiety, but it also inspired dedication, good works

By Miller Zell

Just as the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the globe in late March of 2020, a client asked Miller Zell to procure, kit pack and distribute hardware for a merchandising display in more than 1,700 stores. The project involved 121,765 pieces of hardware shipped from Asia in 35 different containers.

The due date? July 3.

While our competitors for this project told the client it couldn’t be done, we did it. And we did it because of amazing teamwork, expertise and dedication, both within Miller Zell among our diversely capable associates and outside our company with our trusted, international vendor partners.

As Thanksgiving approaches, everyone is aware of the challenges facing people, families and businesses across this nation while the pandemic endures. But even during this unprecedented year of anxiety, lockdowns and economic uncertainty, there is a lot we at Miller Zell are thankful for, starting with our 300 associates. They not only persevered, they also stepped up with admirable commitment, ingenuity and flexibility.

In some ways, Miller Zell was fortunate. Many of our clients were deemed essential businesses. They stayed open, turning to us as trusted partners to collaborate on, first, creating as safe an environment as possible. Then we worked together to build the best possible customer experience during a pandemic. And after.

We’re grateful for the continued loyalty of our clients and the work they asked of us. We’ve hired 21 new associates since July to help best serve them.

We are proud that we successfully hit more than 98 percent of our delivery dates for these clients, despite frequent periods of 50 percent staffing in our graphics and logistics centers. From mid-March until mid-November, our graphics center packed over 225,000 kits and shipped roughly 150,000 to more than 10,000 different store/end-user locations for our banking and retail clients.

We also know that tough times don’t slow the need for corporate social responsibility. Core values don’t change in the face of adversity.

We’re thankful we hosted our annual Miller Zell Charities Golf Classic in September, despite the need for social distancing measures. The tournament raised approximately $70,000 for “It’s the Journey” Atlanta 2-Day Walk and Susan G. Komen for the Cure 3-Day Walks in Boston, Dallas, Chicago and San Diego. Miller Zell Charities  has hosted the tournament since 2009 and has raised nearly $600,000 for breast cancer research.

In October, we announced a new annual scholarship program for a deserving student attending an accredited college, university or vocational school in the United States. The “Miller Zell Innovation Scholarship” will be awarded to an applicant pursuing a degree in business, fashion merchandising, retail, banking, architecture or another related field.

There’s a lot of stress and uncertainty heading into Thanksgiving 2020.

But we want to pause and see the positives. We see skilled, hardworking associates delivering quality work to appreciative clients who are more focused than ever on serving their customers and communities with a personal touch.

We, too, are thankful we can support good causes, give back to our community and follow the precepts of corporate responsibility.

Finally, we also are thankful because there are plenty of reasons to believe things will be better in 2021 as we emerge from the pandemic stronger than before.

Subscribe to get the latest from Miller Zell

Want the latest blog post or musings on all things retail? Subscribe below. We won’t sell your personal data, and you can unsubscribe at any time.