If You Import From China, You Know It’s Chinese New Year — Because Business Grinds To A Halt

by MR Magazine Staff

The holiday, which lands on Monday this year, is the Chinese equivalent of Christmas, Thanksgiving and the Super Bowl rolled into one. Factories in the world’s biggest exporting nation close their doors and workers pile onto buses and trains to head home in the largest annual human migration on Earth. Business and trade grind to a halt. So while people in China are eating dumplings, shooting fireworks and doling out lucky money, Sagehorn and her team use the downtime to partake in lunar new year traditions of their own — namely cleaning, organizing and holding workshops to bring everyone up to speed. They also plan field trips to local cutting houses and sample rooms. “We’re pretty much shut down for the next three weeks,” said Sagehorn, who works for Tobi, an online-only retailer with offices in Los Angeles and South San Francisco that specializes in young women’s fashion. “You’ve got to get everything done before Chinese New Year.” When you’re tethered to manufacturers in China like Sagehorn is — the vast majority of Tobi’s merchandise is imported from China — you have to observe Chinese holidays as if they were on your home turf. Tobi’s employees have gotten so used to the schedule that they’ve already circled the date of Chinese New Year 2017 and are adjusting their plans “one year in advance,” Sagehorn said. Read more at Los Angeles Times.