While the pandemic is ramping up again, take a look back at how we’ve adapted to this new reality and how we can all work together to keep moving forward.
With the holiday season and a new year fast approaching, we wanted to take this time to reflect on the past several months. Our CEO, Phillip Rooke notes: “This year is a big challenge for all of us, both on a personal and professional level. At the same time, it is a record year: Consumer habits have changed radically and irreversibly in the direction of online shopping and decorated clothing; this will remain long after Covid has gone.”
We’ve learned a thing or two since the beginning of the pandemic. If you’re curious and want to see our journey, this timeline will show you everything that’s happened at Spreadshirt since March.
End of the year 2020 (finally!)
We’re using our new knowledge to keep the biggest shopping season of the year on track. From order deadlines with extra buffer time to transparent communication, we’re doing our part to make this Christmas season run as smoothly as possible.
We’re still operating at a lower capacity in all of our facilities to ensure the health and safety of our employees. To help minimize order delays, certain products will be temporarily out of stock for all of December. Finally, because face masks have become a top selling product, we’ve begun producing one ourselves for our European platform. This helps reduce external supply risks for one of our best sellers.
Our CEO, Phillip Rooke, has also elaborated on some of the measures we’re taking: “Now we are in the middle of the Christmas season, the biggest season of the year. To make this Christmas a record one for everyone, we have invested a lot in the preparations. The health of our team is our top priority. We did not just equip them accordingly, we have also adapted shift schedules, materials etc. and at the same time we have invested in new, fast technology. And as the entire supply chain is facing challenges in the Covid year 2020, we started early to secure stock and test alternatives to serve you and your customers as reliable and as exciting as always.” Here’s to a successful holiday season!
The United States continues to struggle with Covid-19. We’re closely monitoring health and safety regulations in our production facilities. Despite the uncertainty in the United States, we’ve successfully launched a long-awaited product – stickers!
In Europe, a second wave of Covid-19 begins. We have new health and safety government guidelines for our production facilities. This includes having employees work in smaller shifts, and not allowing overlap of employees from different shifts.
Globally, additional staff are hired to prepare for Christmas and an increase in online shopping, we continue to follow Covid-19 safety guidelines and protocols.
In North America, products made temporarily unavailable from April until the end of July are now available again. Including mugs, all hats & bags that required laser transfer technique, aprons, and pillowcases.
In Europe, stickers are added to our platform and the Product Wizard is launched globally.
Covid-19 continues to worsen in the United States, production facilities must continue to operate at limited capacity. Across the pond in Europe, production times and delays are reduced and back to normal. Certain products remain unavailable.
The first products are produced in Europe and shipped to the United States to reduce order delays in North America. Globally, large order business (for example, teams and events) remain only half of what it’s been in previous years.
Short-time work stopped for employees working at our offices (hiring also starts again!) A majority of people are still working from home.
Globally, the design upload limit is increased to 20 designs per day, pre-approvals are reactivated.
In Europe, the all-over print face mask is back in stock. While in North America, the basic face mask is launched.
In North America, orders were being placed faster than we could produce with smaller teams. To reduce delays, we temporarily made complex laser transfer products unavailable.
In Europe, we expanded our range of face coverings (we previously had only a bandana and multifunctional scarf) and added the first all-over print face mask. They sold out three days later. Globally, our shipping carriers are unable to ship orders to many countries.
Finally, we began to fundraise for the WHO Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund with our T-Shirt of The Week Campaign.
“Kurzarbeit” or ‘short-time work’ began for all employees in our offices. Working hours were reduced and many projects were put on pause. In short-time work, the German government pays a percentage of the salary that is lost from reduced hours.
At the beginning of the month, production facilities in the United States closed, as per state order for all non-essential businesses. We temporarily stopped accepting orders on our North American platform. Meanwhile, in Europe, all facilities operated at a limited capacity with slight order delays due to local regulations.
Soon after these changes, our entire company went into cost-saving mode. All non-essential spending was stopped, including hiring new employees. Approximately 97% of employees worked from home office.
Spreadshirt collaborated with other companies for the “#allefueralle” (#allforall) campaign which is a Germany vs. Corona initiative.
In North America, both production facilities reopened at a limited capacity, to help keep our workers safe. Our German production facility closed, then reopened the next day with smaller teams.
Globally, the design contest is paused for Marketplace Designers, no more online first and a temporary upload limit of five designs per day begins.
How we’re moving forward
Despite these challenging times, the Spreadshirt Marketplace continues to grow. We see more new Designers and designs on our platform, even with occasional design upload limits.
We hope you and your loved ones stay safe while coronavirus continues to be a global struggle. As always, we continue to prioritize the health and safety of our employees, partners and customers. Since March 5th, we’ve made estimated delivery times more visible to help with any delays.
As our timeline demonstrates, we’re ready and prepared to handle whatever comes next to keep customers happy. We’ll keep you in-the-loop if anything changes.