In the letter below, Graham Wooding, CEO of Sapphire Corporate Solutions, has outlined Sapphire’s procedure regarding placing orders and collecting orders in light of the Covid-19 pandemic:
“Dear Valued Customer,
In order to assist our country, our staff, and all our clients in the pandemic of Covid-19, I have taken the decision to only execute orders from customers via the website, telephone or email – unfortunately calling customers will be unable to wait for their orders.
I understand that this is maybe an inconvenience to some of our customers, but please understand that I have taken this measure purely for prevention and to protect my staff and you, our customer.
Please feel free to contact me at any stage should you wish.
You will have read about the Novel Coronavirus and the alarming number of people infected (currently more than 71,000), as well the current death toll as a result (2000+). The origin of this respiratory virus seems to have been the city of Wuhan in Hubei Province in China. Whilst the news outlets have plenty of information about the virus, we’d like to answer the most asked question pertaining to the impact on our industry & our ability to deliver to you.
Do we expect shipping
delays as a result of the restrictions Chinese authorities have placed on the
movement of people within China?
Undoubtedly there will be delays in the manufacture of goods post Chinese New Year (CNY). Most factories are not yet fully operational and many have not yet opened at all, as all factories throughout China require government permission to reopen. This can only occur after an inspector visits the factory to ensure that the factory has the required protective gear on hand.
The additional challenge factories are facing, is that workers predominantly based in the Hubei Province, are limited in their ability to travel. At present, many factory workers have been unable to return to work and therefore, in many cases, the production of orders has not commenced post (CNY). There is currently major uncertainty as to how many weeks or months it will take before factories can resume normal activity. We are receiving daily updates from our counterparts in China & the latest information we have received is that the potential date for re-opening is only March/April.
The majority of our replenishment that was due to arrive now unfortunately did not leave China before the outbreak and is currently in the harbour waiting release from the government. All new orders placed with our Chinese CMT’s are being met with uncertain delivery dates and therefore we do expect items on our system with arrival dates of April and beyond to be delayed. Our shipping team will continue to update arrival dates with the most accurate information the factories are able to supply, so please keep track of these changing dates.
Sapphire’s Contingency plan:
In a case where we are awaiting a shipment of either fabric or item to arrive & we have sold out we will offer you an interim option with what is still available from our various factories. Where possible we will try our utmost best to supply an item to the same quality & price, however this cannot be guaranteed as it’s dependant on the item we are able to supply at the time. During this time if you require any assistance or have any questions please feel free to contact any of our team members so that we can assist you accordingly.
If you have any questions, please contact us with the form below:
This year Sapphire’s initiative for Nelson Mandela Day was to donate 6.7% of the total sales for the day to the Clothing Bank. We are very excited to say that we managed to make this donation thanks to you. The donation will go towards The Clothing Bank’s enterprise development programme.
This money will be used to train our Ambassadors in community coaching facilitated by Nicky Hanfield. The Clothing Bank’s vision is to inspire, skill and support unemployed mothers to become financially and socially independent by assisting them to become self employed business owners.
We offer the women who join our two year programme an holistic development programme which includes over 1000 hours of training and support with the goal that each women should earn at least R4000 per month from her business. We have five branches supporting up to 800 women who in the last year generated over R30 million in profits from their business.
This success would not be possible without the support from companies like yours. Thank you for helping us change lives.
Co-Founder & CEO
– 14 August 2017
The Clothing Bank achieve their vision by providing unemployed people with income generating opportunities and the skills needed to manage and sustain these small businesses so that they can become financially and socially independent. The Clothing Bank has built an ecosystem that supports change and we focus our efforts on supporting and restoring the whole person through our carefully structured training, coaching and mentoring programmes.