Swinnerton Cycles Covid 19 - Status Update - 05/06/2020
Given the Government’s easing of certain lockdown measures we have had a number of customers asking when will we be reopening the shop for browsing. To be clear the easing of these measures is only acceptable if it is possible to do so in a safe way, for both our customers AND our staff.
Please take the time to read this (Long) update below as we all start to move forward during the easing of restrictions.
As most of you are aware we have continued to trade during the last couple of months using a click and collect approach behind a locked door Monday to Friday 09:00-17:00.
This has been challenging for both ourselves and our customers and we have been grateful for everyone’s understanding of these trading practices during these unprecedented times.
We would particularly like to thank our mechanics Ritchie, Simon, Matt and James who have been working flat out to turn customers repairs around and get the pre delivery inspection on new bikes done as fast they have.
Initially we saw we were dealing with key workers who either required alternative means of transport to get to work or needed repairs on bikes they currently owned, they did and (still will) take priority over other customers.
Obviously with lots of family’s at home we have seen an unprecedented number of you wishing to use a bike as way of both exercising within the governments guidelines as well as a way for you just to get out together as a family. This has been one of the more positive things to take from the crisis.
The downside of this is that both ourselves and all our bike suppliers including the bigger brands Giant, Trek, Merida and Ridgeback now have very limited stocks left, both here in the UK and in Europe.
The factories that these manufacturers use have also been affected due to the crisis and as a result production has slowed down meaning demand has outstripped supply.
All this has coincided with what is the start of the new season for these big brands to release their 2021 models which happens towards the end of July.
Rest assured we have already started to order these 2021 models so whilst currently stocks are low please keep an eye on our website for all the latest arrivals to make sure if there’s some specific you want you don’t miss out.
Hopefully the above has given you a little bit of an insight into what we have be doing and help you understand the reasons why of how we intend to move forward as a shop during this next phase.
The shop has been where it is for over a hundred years and whilst it’s expanded over time we believe it’s structural layout does not lend itself to creating a safe browsing experience for both customers and staff (one way systems etc) So in the short term we don’t intend to open our doors for full browsing just yet.
Given the limited number of bikes we have left in the showrooms anyway this is not really a problem.
As mentioned earlier we have been working behind our original locked door with customers knocking or ringing to collect pre-ordered goods.
For the time being we are going to continue trading this way,
however part of the feedback from both customers and staff has been the difficulty in hearing each other over the background noise of Victoria Road, this despite the reduced traffic during this time.
We have taken this on board and are going to experiment allowing a maximum of 2 people into the shop at one time. You will still be required to keep social distancing protocols and you will not be able to browse or touch stock you don’t intend to buy. You will be asked to wait in a 2 meter zone until a member of staff is available to serve you.
We intend to work on getting this operational during the next week and will release another statement in a few days to confirm all the above.
In the meantime opening hours will remain the same.
Until then please continue to use the website as much as possible for all your purchases, this includes bikes, be that for mail order delivery or click and collect.
So you are aware, our stocks are updated daily. This includes both our stocks and our suppliers stocks.
During the past couple of months this has been extremely fast moving with relatively large quantities of some products selling out sometimes within a day.
Whilst we’ve said it before it’s worth repeating, despite the easing of some of the lockdown measures, delivery and picking times have increased due to social distancing measures, in the short term this will not change with the easing of restrictions, it will be an ongoing situation so some shipments can take up to 10 working days to come out to you. Please be aware of this and factor this in when you order with us.
Please remember it is up to individual business to relax restrictions when they feel the can safely do so in line with government guidelines.
One last bit of information, our phone lines have been particularly busy. If we don’t answer it’s just because we are serving customers either in the shop, at the door, or on one the other phone lines. Please keep trying :)
Thanks for taking the time to read this long statement. We will continue to update you with our plans and in the meantime we thank you for your continued custom and ongoing support.