***UPDATE 23rd March 2020
We are making further changes to how we operate. It will no longer be possible to click and collect from our Peterborough warehouse. We are still offering free local postage, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to facilitate this. We are reducing to a skeleton staff of just our four family members to do our bit for the COVID-19 effort so our staff can staff safely at home and fewer journeys have to happen.
Please bear with us, your orders are likely to take longer to dispatch. We have 17 staff and we are reducing to 4. As we're going to be operating on skeleton staff we have decided we are no longer accept phone calls but you will only be able to contact us via email us at email@example.com. We are hoping we'll be able to return to our normal operation as soon as we can. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
***UPDATE: In light of the Government's advice on Social Distancing issued on 16th March we have taken the decision to close our warehouse to the public with immediate effect. Online and telephone orders can still be placed, as outlined below. Apologies for any inconvenience caused at this unprecedented time***
⚠️ We have an important announcement for local customers that visit our Peterborough warehouse ⚠️
Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) we will be closing our premises to in-person shoppers from Thursday 19th March 2020 for the foreseeable future. The last date you can visit will be Wednesday of this week. Our online operation will continue as normal so you will still be able to place an order online and use click and collect (please knock on the door or call when you arrive). We have also decided to offer free local delivery to customers that usually shop in person with us so you’re still able to access your sewing supplies, especially important if we are headed in to a lock down! Call us for the details on how we can facilitate this. You can still place orders through our website, or we will be happy to take orders over the phone on 0800 048 8787.
Why have we decided to take this action?
We have thought long and hard about this decision and think it’s the best action. Here are the reasons we have decided to close our premise to the public:
We estimate that more than 50% of our in-person customers are elderly and therefore fall into a vulnerable category should they become infected withCOVID-19.
Only last week we had several customers visit our warehouse who were clearly quite unwell. We have a duty of care to our staff to protect them as much as possible. Not only do we want to protect our staff's health as much as we possibly can, but from an operational perspective, if our staff do contract COVID-19, as the virus is highly contagious it is incredibly likely to spread throughout our staff quickly. If all of our staff are out ill then it will mean our online business would not be able to operate. This could have serious ramifications for the longevity of our business.
We are an independent family run business. On a daily basis in our warehouse you may find myself, my husband, my mum and my sister-in-law. My 8 year old daughter is often in our warehouse at the weekends. My mum is fit and healthy but in her late 60s. I want to limit possible exposure to this virus for my family. If we are all struck then Plush Addict will not be able to operate.
We can offer a lower transmission risk solution to our customers, so why wouldn't we?
We are very lucky that we already have an established online business so it's possible to receive our goods through our website using click & collect, we are also offering free local delivery to customers that usually shop in person. Because we have an alternative it seemed a no brainer to protect our staff, customers and perhaps help slow the spread of this highly infectious virus. We understand that some customers will be disappointed as fabric shopping can often be preferably in person, however everything is available online and if this small decision can slow the spread of this virus, even a little, and alleviate pressure on the NHS then it's one we're happy to take.
We already offer a free returns service which we will expand further if you normally shop in the warehouse. If you order something through the website and it isn't quite as you hoped you can return it to us free of charge. You can do this via Royal Mail, or if this isn't convenient then as long as you have notified us within 30 days of purchase you can return it to the warehouse when we open our doors again.
Are we overreacting?
We announced this initially over on Facebook and we're delighted so many of our followers understand and have supported our decision, however some commenters believe we're feeding panic and overacting. I would like to point out that on February 27, Italy had 650 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Less than two weeks later, they have more than 25,000 and over 1500 dead. The virus has spread at a rapid rate because people were mingling. The entire country is on lockdown and hospitals are over capacity. Their health service is over run and their mortality rate is much high than other countries such as South Korea. The UK has so far adopted a far less stringent plan for controlling this virus than almost any other affected country.
This has been a scary business decision for us and one we have not taken lightly. We have effectively cut off a significant revenue stream. This decision comes with significant risk, but looking at the bigger picture we feel it's necessary. This decision may cost us dearly, but we have to trust that our loyal customers understand why we've done this and continue to support us by converting to shopping online, or through telephone ordering temporarily. We want to continue to be able to supply you with fabrics and haberdashery throughout this crisis.
Is it safe to order on-line?
Absolutely! Royal Mail have issued this statement regarding the risk of transmission though parcels. If we are delivering locally to you ourselves we will also follow the procedures outlined by Royal Mail.
Will our regular in-house events be affected?
Yes. We are cancelling both the Project Linus meetups and the Quilters Guild monthly meet up until further notice.
When will you re-open?
We can't say at present. We will be watching the news carefully and will be updating this page, and our social media channels accordingly.
If you have any questions or comments then please don't hesitate to get in touch. We are hoping that for the majority of our customers our service will be the same as ever. We are sorry if this decision disappoints some of our local customers but I hope that reading a little more about how we've arrived here you can understand.