A 2020 Holiday Reflection

Dec 23, 2020

Right now in the Northern Hemisphere you can see the convergence of Jupiter and Saturn, giving the illusion of one new, brighter star. It's an event that only happens every 20 years, but that doesn’t really reveal the uniqueness of this year—to see them this bright, the conjunction of the two planets must align with Earth and be on our side of the sun at night in the Northern Hemisphere, something that hasn’t occurred like this in the last 800 years.

Back in the 17th century, famous astronomer Johannes Kepler's study of planetary motion revealed it's possible for astronomers to plot the next convergence—and look back in time to see when it happened last. Kepler believed the Bethlehem Star that guided the wise men in 7 BC was the same rare occurrence we're seeing now. But even with a hopeful, celestial phenomenon shining in the night's sky, it's hard in 2020 to look past the chaos and strife of a global pandemic, political and social unrest, and polarization to pause, put things in perspective, and find the positive meaning.

And yet, there is so much to be positive about in our industry. The pandemic has driven shoppers closer to home, has kept them in grocery stores, and has restored shopping to local retailers like nothing we have seen before. And we have new shoppers, younger and older, who are engaged with our brand now, which is an incredible opportunity to sustain growth in the future.

From the beginning days of the COVID-19 virus in China to today, IGA store teams have worked tirelessly to keep our stores safe and to continue to provide for shoppers and communities around the world. And our communities have recognized it. They are proud of their local IGA stores—over half say they feel like we kept them safer than any national chain could have.

You can’t buy that kind of endorsement. You can’t market your way into having your associates considered “essential workers” by local and federal governments.

This holiday, as you hold your loved ones close (in person or virtually), think about how the IGA family of retailers, store teams, wholesalers, brand partners, and technology providers are all working together to keep our communities around the world fed, and to keep them safe. What you do makes a difference, now more than ever. 

We are so very proud of the work the IGA family has done this year, and so thankful that no matter what comes at us in 2021, we now know we can weather the storms. We’ve done it, we will continue to do it through the remaining tough days ahead, and we will come out stronger in the end. Planetary convergence or not, our future is bright.

Have a wonderful and safe holiday!

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