The last few months have been a harrowing and uncertain time for families as the Novel Coronavirus has disrupted lives and routines everywhere. As frightening as the news and our new shared reality is, there are also many reasons for hope and optimism; early efforts to "socially distance" have helped slow the rate of infections in some places, and while there are surely many challenging months ahead, there are countless bright spots of compassion and altruism that have acted as a salve for the fear - and boredom - we're all feeling.
Although business concerns are minor compared to the real life and death issues we are all facing, we know that many of you are also sparing some thoughts for the small businesses in your community and online that have been disrupted by this pandemic. We recently shared a list of some of our favourite small businesses on our Instagram page, and we are tremendously grateful for everybody who has tagged us or shared a story about us on their own social media pages. Small businesses depend on word-of-mouth marketing, and we truly appreciate every single mention. It makes a difference!
We'd like to update you on some of the measures that we have taken to ensure the safety of our customers and our business partners, including the hard working postal workers and store employees who continue to work through the epidemic. We have enhanced our cleaning process for all toys, new and previously loved, and every single order is disinfected before packaging. We are wearing gloves during the packing process, and while carrying our deliveries to the post office.
We have also added a no-charge home delivery option for addresses in the City of Toronto. We are following a contactless protocol for drop-offs, and there is plenty of information available online about how to clean any item that comes into your home as well.
Our warehouse is in our live/work space, so we are thankfully able to continue receiving and shipping packages without breaking stay-at-home best practices and guidelines. We are taking every possible step to minimize outside contact at every step of the process.
Wooden toys are particularly safe when it comes to infectious diseases, and studies show that all viruses survive for a much shorter time on wooden surfaces compared to plastic or metal. Wood has natural properties that make it harder for any infectious agent to survive, so by choosing wooden toys you are choosing a safer option for play. However, we still recommend that wooden toys be periodically cleaned with a mild detergent and a warm, damp cloth.
The COVID-19 crisis has touched almost every part of the economy, and it will hit small businesses particularly hard. We are lucky that we do not have a storefront to support during a prolonged lockdown, but we encourage you to support the brick-and-mortar stores in your community by shopping online or ordering home delivery where available. This epidemic will pass, and one day those stores will be able to open their doors again, but they need your help.
We work almost exclusively with small makers and suppliers, and we are doing our best to honour our purchase orders and ensure cashflow for those business during this tough time. By supporting Wood Wood Toys, you are helping so support independent makers in Canada and around the world. Thank you!
However, many manufacturers have reduced or suspended production, and shipping times have increased six-fold from some regions. We are excited to launch two new product lines from Europe, Brin d'Ours and Clicques, but production and logistics slowdowns have forced us to postpone our planned April launch to mid-May or later. We hope that you will remain as excited about these great bands as we are, and that you will support their Canadian market launches when we do finally introduce them!
We continue to ship with Canada Post for domestic orders, and while delivery times remain nearly the same as pre-Coronavirus times, Canada Post has temporarily suspended on-time guarantees for all domestic packages at all rates. We are doing our best to get every order out of the door within 24 hours to help you get your order as quickly as possible.
Our popular Canadian-made items, like the Wood Wood Wobble and our 12 Piece Rainbow Stackers are made by hand in a small home workshop in Eastern Ontario. Our workshop partners are continuing to produce new products, although we are expecting a reduction in capacity. Some Canadian-made items may experience temporary stock-outs, but we will be adding new inventory whenever possible. If you are interested in one of those items and it is not currently available, please contact us to be added to a pre-order list.
Some of our inventory is shipped directly from our manufacturer partners overseas, and while most orders continue to arrive with the 14-21 days that were typical before the epidemic, some delivery times have exceeded 60 days as packages pile up at ports. We encourage you to take note of the shipping origin for every product you add to your cart, that information is on every product page. If you are shopping for a birthday or holiday, choose items that ship from Toronto to get the fastest shipping.