How has Covid-19 affected us?
How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected us?
The most obvious thing that had an effect on our company was the way the different alert levels changed how we did things, how we could interact with our customers and our ability to re-stock the Subaru parts we were selling.
The first real change happened when we were suddenly thrown into a level-3 alert, one day we were serving customers as normal and the next we had our showroom closed and we could only send parts out via courier or offer pre-paid contactless collection at our gate. This had the effect of nearly stopping retail type sales, it didn’t really effect our trade sales too much as 95% of those were always done via courier delivery services. But then we hit the Level-4 lockdown!
During the march 2020 Level-4 Covid alert we were closed, we had no way of accessing our stock so even if we had tried to sell online through one of our websites we had no way of getting the stock out of our main warehouse and getting it to our customers, to lose a whole month of sales was a huge blow to all of us, staff struggled as we had no income from the business but had to still pay rents etc we relied on the wage subsidy to get the staff through, some wanted holiday pay and we were happy to help them in any way we could.. but it was a difficult time for all.
Then out of lockdown and we started to sell, but then Auckland was locked out of the rest of the country, we could still send parts through out NZ but as a few of our staff (including the author) lived outside of Auckland they couldn’t get to work and again those few had to reply on the wage subsidy to get through. The staff that were just outside of Auckland applied for an exemption but none received a reply at all about this and none received any exemption or any explanation why they didn’t and the blame for this falls directly at the government (slack to say the least!).
Anyway, at the time of writing this (8th December 2020) the entire country is at level -1, our sales are just fine and due to the difficulty in getting new parts into the country we are selling for and more to new dealerships as well. Let’s all hope that the Government keep on the ball, get us some vaccines as soon as possible and we get the boarders open ASAP so the rest of the country can get back to making a living!