Update for customers in the US 24/05/2020
Although there is no new advice on this from USPS, we are finding that customers are experiencing very significant delays with packages being held up in sorting, particularly at the USPS's Chicago and NY facilities, and with delivery.
Customers should check USPS's current advice before ordering.
Shipping update 17/04/2020
Although most national postal services are functioning as usual with few delays (including the service here in Portugal), we are finding that some packages are taking longer to transit to destination countries due to the reduced number of international flights worldwide.
Unfortunately, these delays are outside our control and the control of national postal services.
If you have received a dispatch notification and are waiting for your order to arrive, please check the tracking information in the notification in the first instance.
Although we are happy to ask postal services to investigate the status of delayed packages, please be aware that we are being advised by many that they are currently receiving a very high number of enquiries, and that responses to such may be delayed.
Your patience and understanding at this time are appreciated. Please all look after each other and stay safe.
How we're responding to COVID-19
I just wanted to provide you with a quick update to explain what we're doing to ensure that:
- everyone involved in the end-to-end process of getting your lingerie and swimwear to you stays safe, and
- we continue to do our best to support our suppliers and our other partners through this uncertain and challenging period.
Why we're still open for business
Each business has its own unique set of circumstances and has to make its own decisions about how to respond to the advice being issued by governments and other agencies.
We take our obligations to the safety of all of those involved in our end-to-end processes extremely seriously, and considering the current advice of the Portuguese government and General Directorate of Health, the Portuguese postal service and post office, and the platforms that host our online sales channels, we have taken the decision to continue to accept and fulfill orders for now.
The situation is a developing one; and we will continue to review the advice of the authorities as it evolves. Should we see changes in the advice that lead us to believe that the safety of anyone involved in creating or delivering your lingerie can't be - or isn't being - protected, then, very simply, we will close our doors.
The ColieCo studio
At present, there are only two of us at work in the studio, busily beavering away on all of your orders. We're still dispatching your packages within two weeks of your orders being placed, and we will let you know in advance if that timescale is likely to change.
As the two of us are also living together, nobody is carrying anything into the studio that they might transmit to be carried into a different home.
Those who know ColieCo well know that we source the majority of our supplies - including almost all of our fabric and elastic - from independent small businesses, and that this is no accident. Because we are, wholeheartedly and unashamedly, champions of the indie.
Many of these small businesses we have come to know very well, having maintained working (and developed personal) relationships with their staff over many years. We know their people, we trust their people, and we care about their people.
All of this means that whilst our suppliers keep their doors open and are able to assure us that they can maintain the safety of their staff, we will continue to support them with orders of supplies. We will be - and already are - paying our smallest suppliers and partners in advance wherever possible. We will not be asking for deferral of payment or cancelling any orders - and that is a promise.
Some of our suppliers have already closed their doors because they have decided that doing so is the best way for them to help protect their staff. We absolutely support those decisions, and will let our customers know as early as we possibly can if any of our products or collections might be affected by supply shortages.
The postal service
We ship all of your orders with CTT, the Portuguese national postal service. (And we do that because those gals and guys are really very good at what they do!)
We dispatch via our local post office in the village of Sagres, and Carlos behind the counter there passes your parcels to Fernando (most days of the week), who then starts their onward journey across the country and beyond.
CTT have advised that they are following and will continue to follow all recommendations from the relevant authorities (being, primarily, the Portuguese General Directorate of Health). They have provided the staff that we work with protective screens and personal equipment, and they have put distancing measures in place, including restricting entrance to the post office to only the single customer being served, and removing the need for signatures on signed for deliveries.
Whilst CTT and their staff are happy to continue to accept parcels, we will continue to dispatch orders. And we will be continuing to dispatch at least three times per week to do our best to ensure that your orders arrive in time for your birthdays, anniversaries and other special celebrations.
We want to thank you, and we want to know your thoughts
At the very best of times, we are incredibly thankful for your loyal custom and support. We are blessed with so many repeat customers at ColieCo - customers whom we've come to know and grow and share with - and you are all MAGNIFICENT people. I really mean it, all of you.
Right now - and I think that I am probably speaking for a lot of small business owners and employees everywhere - your support means more than ever. And I don't just mean your orders; I mean your supportive words, your engagement in and help with the development of the business, your recommendations, your ideas, your blog and social media shout outs, and, well, your just *being* there. You've helped shape who we are and what we do. So I want to thank you all.
We always love hearing from you. This is a time, in particular, for people to come together, to talk and to listen, to support each other and to share a little love. So let us know how you're doing.
If you have an idea for a project, a collaboration or a custom order, please get in touch. If you just want to just chat about lingerie, or cats, or biscuits, please get in touch.
And please stay safe and look after each other.