Covid-19 Updates & Resources for Retailers

Amidst the global coronavirus pandemic, we will be sharing our latest updates and resources here. Check back for the latest news and information relevant for our bridal community. At Justin Alexander, we are here for you during this unprecedented time and are confident that through great partnership, we will make it through together.

FW20 & SS21 Sample Order Programs & Reservations

Tuesday, March 24, 2020 12:00pm ET

For existing FW20 and SS21 sample orders:
- Customers can request deferred shipment up to 90 days, or longer as the global situation warrants.
- Trunk shows can be scheduled upon the submission and confirmation of a stock order. The trunk show date must be on or after the order start ship date. 

For new FW20 and SS21 sample orders:
- For new sample orders, we are taking “reservations.” A reservation adds flexibility and does not require you to confirm your order upfront. It allows you to adjust the order, cancel the order and push back your completion date through your confirmation deadline. The first series of orders will be confirmed on May 1, 2020, with delivery slated for October 31, 2020. 
- Again, trunk shows can be scheduled upon the submission and confirmation of a stock order. The trunk show date must be on or after the order start ship date. 

Please ask your sales representative, agent or customer service for more information on any of the above programs.

New Initiatives to Support You

Monday, March 24, 2020 5:00pm ET

In these tough times, all of us at JA are committed to strengthening our partnership with you. Here are some of the actions that the Company is taking to support you:

1. Building inventory in anticipation of a surge in orders after the crisis ends  -- full list to come
2. Offering flexible shipping programs for brides orders in the meantime including D2C shipping on available reorders, home shipping services and the ability to designate NOT as ready shipping 
3. Deferring shipping on existing sample orders from 30 to 60 days 
4. Providing flexible options for shipping on new stock reservations 
5. Arranging payment options that work for you through our Credit Department
6. Supplying real-time information on government programs to help with cash-flow and capital needs
7. Planning virtual trunk shows in conjunction with our FW20 collection launches in May -- full schedule to come
8. Most importantly, continuing to serve you and your brides with ongoing customer service, credit and shipping support.

Please ask your sales representative, agent or customer service for more information on any of the above initiatives.

Update on Our Operations and Services

Monday, March 23, 2020 12:00pm ET

We are taking every precaution to help stop the spread of the virus with our staffing, yet we are still here for you. Our customer service, credit, sales and shipping teams are fully operational  -- with some in a work-from-home capacity.

According to our teams in Asia, our production timelines will continue to improve, and we are confident that we can meet the completion dates cited on the Portal for US Inventory. At this time, we advise against putting in orders for transfer from European Inventories over the Portal, although please feel free to check with Customer Service for daily guidance.

To protect our staff we are working with a limited team to reduce the chance of transmission of the virus, and we are suspending non-essential programs for April and May. Loaners, trunk shows and order rush services are currently suspended, and we will restart the programs as soon as the situation clears and our offices fully reopen.

Marketing Tips

Friday, March 20, 2020 5:00pm ET

1.  Make sure your website is in good shape:
-Are your listed business hours and contact info current?
-Is your site up-to-par with current standards?
-Create blog posts and add educational content to your website for SEO
-Consider adding a web chat to your website to connect with brides
 

References:
Article from Syvo
JA one-pager on websites

2. Offer consultations to brides via video chat and encourage appointments for when your store reopens

References: How To Article from Syvo

3. Learn more about analytics and conversions by taking online classes.

References: Google Analytics and Google Ads are both free

4. Collect real bride content from previous clients (high-res images, videos, etc.)

5. Get ahead on scheduled social media posts

References: Planoly

6. Host Instagram or FB live and welcome new brides and ask questions

References: Instagram Live

7. Use the Questions & Polls features on IG Stories to engage with brides and start dialogues on various topics, like what content they’d like to see, advice they need, etc.

8. Maintain your mental health while staying active on social media

References: Mental Health Tips

Money-Saving Tips

Friday, March 20, 2020 12:00pm ET

1. If you are renting your retail space, ask for a Rent Abatement or Extended payment terms from your landlord.

2. Suspend services that are non-essential and which you can resume when your store reopens

3. Ask any service providers that require an upfront payment for the option to pay monthly instead of annually at the same rate (examples: Curalate, Planoly and Adobe)

4. Be in tune with your burn rate -- how low can you lower it while business is non-operational?.

5. Keep remaining staff busy with task lists. 

6. Schedule video chats to remain in contact and keep team members productive

7. Review local reforms/legislation to find out what flexibility, tax breaks and relief is available for your business.

SBA Loan Relief for US Retailers

Friday, March 13, 2020 5:00pm ET

The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced a loan program that they have set up to help small businesses during this difficult time.

We have confirmed that retailers are eligible so we do encourage you to look into whether your business qualifies. You are eligible to apply if you do not have other commercial funding options, and your state and county have declared an emergency. The program offers loans with interest rates of 3.75% and terms of up to 30 years. 

To see if your location qualifies and to access the online application, please visit the link here.

If you are interested, please consider acting quickly as there will no doubt be intense competition for these limited funds.

As always, we are here to work hand in hand with you to help your business thrive.