The health and safety of our customers and staff remains paramount during this challenging time. Due to the ongoing global outbreak of Covid-19 we made this important decision in a bid to help slow down the spread of the virus. Although essential personnel will attend work, current measures will remain in place as long as necessary, in line with Government guidelines.
Changing daily, the situation for businesses is complicated. At this time, our company directors are working through the available information to them, making sense of the recent financial support options from our Government. We are thankful that they finally recognised, taking lead from other European countries, that through all of this uncertainty people must remain employed and employers must receive support. Crockett & Jones are of course privately own, which enables us to make decisive decisions within a matter of days or even hours of developments. This will also aid us to get back up and running as soon as the sun shines once again.
Being a manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer adds different levels of complexity to the situation. Our wholesale and retail sales have been hit the hardest. Manufacturing a product that retails with an average value of £400 means that the bulk of our footwear sales are heavily concentrated within city locations. These powerhouse cities around our globe are now in lockdown thus the pausing of retail sales. Pausing in the sense of the word because mark my word, all of the staff at Crockett & Jones will come back with gusto as soon as we possibly can. We have great confidence that our customers will come and see us too.
Manufacturing possess another uncertainty for us at the moment. As it stands, the factory is closed for the foreseeable future. Our staff desperately want to work and whilst the risk in local Northampton is minimal, if we wish to keep it that way adhere to guidelines we must. The situation is changing daily, of which we are aware. Some of our customers in Asia are retailing and we managed to get some good shipments to them before our shutdown. We pray that Europe and the US will be on the same timeline and by the early summer, we will begin to see a return to normality.
Not offering a comprehensive ecommerce operation is troublesome, as it was only for the reason of our own success that we never pushed on with this sales channel. Through offering a remarkably high-quality product for a reasonable price, our factory has been running at maximum capacity for a number of years leaving us unable to open up online sales. In situations like this, ecommerce would have continued a service to our customers. However, we do offer a mail order service, via our retail operations to take advantage of our experts in footwear retailing. Our mail order service remains active, but with reduced capacity, so please do still get in touch, we will endeavour to get back to you as quickly as possible. We have extended our returns policy in respect to the uncertainty surrounding retail at this time and will continue to proudly serve our customers at distance.
Whilst you find yourselves working from home or self-isolating, we will also continue to post engaging content to our social media and on crockettandjones.com. Make sure you browse through our Guest Author and The Articles or follow us on Instagram for snippets (@crockettandjones_official). Whether these articles inspire you for future purchases, enlighten you towards different styles and trends, or teach you and your children about the fascinating intricacies of English shoe making, we are certain they will provide a welcomed and lighthearted respite when required. As always, you can contact us on our social media channels or via our website at any time. We are here to help with any enquiries and answer any concerns you may have over the coming weeks.
We continue to think of those incredible people on the front line, fighting the virus and tending to those infected by the virus many of us have family involved in the NHS at all levels and they are all truly heroic.
Leading on, us British are forever pragmatic in the face of adversity and lead on with a smile we shall. In the meantime, look after those around you and stay safe. We very much look forward to seeing you back in store in the near future, maybe for some Autumn Winter 2020 goodness!