We decided early on in this pandemic that our first priority is to protect our staff and customers as best we can. Even though we received a “Critical Sector” exemption from the Office of the Governor, we opted to close completely for two weeks. And when we have been open, we’ve only done “contactless” business…curbside pickup, shipping and delivery. Well, now the Governor of Minnesota has allowed the “lockdown” order to expire after many weeks and a couple of extensions, and retail stores now have the option to bring in their employees and customers while following safety guidelines. What will this mean for Wet Paint?
Darin and I have discussed this with other stores locally and with our friends at art stores around the country. That’s been very enlightening, as each state moves through this at a different rate and every store is different. Uniformly, though, we are agreed that the nature of this pandemic hasn’t changed. While our hospitals are better prepared for more cases than they were in early April there is still a real and significant risk from this disease to our community and our staff. If infection rates change we might be back into a restricted status at some point, potentially in cycles, for quite a while. We expect that a large number of our customers will still prefer to shop with us without the additional risk of coming into the store so we will need to continue to offer curbside pickup and delivery. We are operating with a reduced staff and have altered many of our processes to make our current system as efficient as possible. Opening our front door to meter in a few people at a time to browse would require additional resources that we frankly don’t have to keep everyone protected…and the shopping experience would be pretty crappy, since we’ve reconfigured everything to make curbside pickup and delivery work well.
So, we will continue to do our very best to provide great service and products via our contactless methods, and will absolutely innovate everywhere that we can to make that better. But until something significant changes in the way this virus behaves, or can be treated or prevented, we will continue doing business as we have been doing. Thanks for your support and thanks for keeping art in your life.
Be well and stay safe!