Maybe it’s because that long-awaited vacation is only weeks away or maybe it’s because I just like lists that track the best and the brighest. But whatever the reason, I’ve always enjoyed putting togetherThe Top 50, our annual look at the leading U.S. companies in the global household and personal products industry. Since 1978, The Top 50 has given Happi readers a snapshot of where a company has been during the past year and, in many cases, where it is headed in the future. Readers like it too, with more than a few folks telling us they refer to the article throughout the year.
But this edition of The Top 50 is unlike any I’ve worked on in my two-plus decades with the magazine. Sifting through all the 10-Ks, bad news seems to be piled on top of bad news, with a lot of companies reporting declines for their final fiscal quarters. What’s worse, with many companies in The Top 50 already reporting first quarter fiscal 2009 results, the economy seemed to be decelerating at a rapid rate in early 2009. No wonder why more than a few Top 50 members announced restructuring and layoffs during the first half of the year. That’s no fun to write about, let alone live through.
But, as the cliché goes, it’s always darkest before the dawn, right? The evidence may only be anecdotal, but several suppliers I’ve spoken to in the past couple of weeks noted a break in the malaise. Orders aren’t flowing in by any means, of course, but at least there’s some activity out there.
So sit back, relax (if you can) and take some time to peruse through The Top 50.
Yes, we hoped the results would be better, but hey, as one sales-type told me, at least next year it will be easy to beat 2009’s first quarter numbers!