Business View Magazine | Volume 9, Issue 3

176 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE VOLUME 9, ISSUE 3 The pandemic created what Ewing describes as a “heart monitor type of environment.” After a promising start to 2020, COE Distributing suddenly found itself 65% down in April compared to their usual takings. “We hit that bottom in April but then in every subsequent month through to September, we grew to the point where August and September of 2020 were back-to-back record months from a revenue and profitability standpoint. We had our third quarter of 2020 eclipse our first quarter of 2020 as the best quarter in company history.” COE Distributing’s ability to recover so rapidly did not come as a huge surprise, however. The company quickly pivoted to office products that were experiencing an uptick in demand as a result of the COVID crisis – items that could help protect workers. “We started producing in-house acrylic screens and we sold a significant amount of those throughout 2020, which was beneficial in two ways,” Ewing says. “First, it gave us a revenue stream that we previously didn’t have, and second, it allowed us to remain visible in front of our customers at a time where demand wasn’t particularly high for the products that we traditionally sold.” In addition to producing acrylic screens, COE Distributing also began offering antimicrobial upholstery and laminates, as well as several other COVID-related products. With most people assuming that the pandemic would last just a few months, there was an expectation that AT A GLANCE COE DISTRIBUTING WHAT: A national wholesale office furniture distributor WHERE: Smock, Pennsylvania WEBSITE: