Store Lead Associate Deb Morgan welcomes visitors to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Winter 2020 Sales Update

Eastern National’s fiscal year 2020, which ended on October 31, was the most challenging year in the organization’s history. As a nonprofit that relies nearly 100% on earned revenue, COVID-19 has had a tremendous impact on the organization. In March, we closed our stores to ensure the health and safety of our team. Stores began to reopen in June, and by the end of October, one-third of our stores were operational.

Stores that reopened by June provided a much-needed infusion of cash to the organization. Those stores included ones at Acadia NP, Allegheny Portage Railroad NHS, Andrew Johnson NHS, Blue Ridge Parkway, Cape Hatteras NS, Cape Lookout NS, Cumberland Gap NHP, Cumberland Island NS, Flight 93 NM, Fort Macon State Park, Fort Necessity NB, Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie NHP, Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania NMP, Friendship Hill NHS, George Rogers Clark NHP, Hot Springs NP, Johnstown Flood NM, Homestead NM of America, Kennesaw Mountain NBP, Mammoth Cave NP, Minuteman Missile NHS, Niobrara NSR, Ozark NSR, Perry’s Victory & International Peace Memorial, Robert Russa Moton Museum, Russell Cave NM, Salem Maritime NHS, Shiloh-Tennessee River Museum, Sleeping Bear Dunes NL, and Tallgrass Prairie NPres.

Our America’s National Parks™ Online Store had a record-setting year as visitors shifted to online shopping. Ecommerce sales were $1.3 million in 2020, which represented a 12% increase over 2019.

Total sales for 2020 were $16,300,000. This represents a $27.4 million decrease from 2019 sales of $43,700,000. The last time our annual revenue was $16 million was in 1992. We made many difficult decisions during the year to align our expenses with this new level of revenue, which included reducing the EN team by more than 50%.

We anticipate 2021 will be another year of unknowns, especially during the winter months as COVID-19 case counts increase. We are hopeful that the release of a vaccine, as early as this month, will begin to provide a level of stability to the organization by late 2021. We are projecting modest sales growth in 2021, with greater opportunities to increase revenue in 2022 and beyond.