To our dear customers, community members and friends,
While we have been keeping in touch with you digitally over the past couple of weeks, I wanted to provide you with a more formal update on our ongoing operations at Brighten Up. As you are aware, at end of day on Monday March 23rd Brighten Up closed our retail stores in response to the Province of Ontario’s order that non-essential workplaces close.
At that time I asked you to respect that – while what we sell at Brighten Up is 'essential' in the sense that our products form a major part of many people’s fun, learning, discovery and social activities – providing you with NEW products was not, in our opinion, critical and time-sensitive. For that reason, we also made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend online or delivery options as well. While we were aware that this measure was more extensive than those taken by some other businesses, we believed it was necessary to initiate a complete shut-down of all of our operations in the short-term. We appreciate that most customers have respected our decision to keep ourselves, our employees and our customers safe as a top priority without rushing into any new service options without proper time and consideration. Myself, Stephanie and Baby Cassandra have been following a strict physical and social distancing protocol since being closed. We have also used that time to consider our role and contribution to community, to engage with and understand social and physical distancing to the best of our ability, and to educate ourselves through the ever-changing information provided by health professionals and government leaders. Given the nature of our business, we were exposed to a significant number of members of the public during the days and weeks leading up to our closure, and it was very important to us to be able to monitor our own health so that we did not take any actions – including making any deliveries – that may have placed the health and well-being of others in jeopardy.
My promise to you is that I will continue to remain cautious, to review and consider health directives, and to ask for your patience. I would rather lose sales to competitors but know that I put the health and safety of our community first, as has been the case over the past two weeks. We are all being asked to consider the lives that have been lost, and those that can be saved, and as an employer and community leader that weighs heavily on my mind in all my decisions.
In the face of the growing number of cases and deaths related to COVID-19, it is clear that it will be necessary and responsible to continue to keep our retail stores closed for an extended period of time. We recognize and appreciate that this means it is also now appropriate for us to consider alternative, safe options for you to acquire products from us should you wish to do so. For this reason, we have made the decision to offer LIMITED delivery under a number of conditions which I will outline below. Unfortunately, we know these restrictions will not allow us to service all customers. We have decided to only operate, at least for the time-being, within the constraints of what we can personally deliver so as to keep the remainder of our team members safely at home and minimize exposure and unnecessary additional travel. We hope you can understand that the reality for our business is that whether we sell our products in our store or online, it requires us to travel outside of our home and so it is necessary for us to do everything we can to put in place protection measures for the safety and well-being of us all. I believe this is a responsibility that we hold as an employer and member of the community. Please note that this delivery service is consistent with the current order from the Province of Ontario related to non-essential businesses; however, that may change at any time and we will adjust or remove services accordingly.
Personal Delivery Conditions
Should you be interested in considering our LIMITED delivery option, please review the following conditions.
- Order requests at this time must be initiated through our online store at www.brightenuptoysandgames.ca, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by Facebook messenger. Please also include a phone number in your request as we will follow-up with you by email and/or telephone to confirm product availability and contactless delivery plans. In order to streamline our process, we will not be regularly checking voicemails at our stores so please make initial contact via email.
- You may utilize our website to review products and place orders but please be patient as we update the website. This is new to us and we are learning, it also takes time to load descriptions and pictures for 20,000+ products. Also, please note that the availability online may not be accurate.
- All orders will require pre-payment by e-transfer, VISA or Mastercard. We cannot accept cash or other in-person payments for the time being.
- All orders must be delivered personally by Chris, so as to control contact with the products and to not put any additional burden on our already over-stretched mail and courier providers. For this reason, we can only deliver to homes within a 15km radius of either of our two retail stores. There will be no additional charge for delivery. If you are outside of this area please reach out and we will review your request to see if we can accommodate you.
- Deliveries will only be made two times weekly (per store location), so please be patient. Our inventory is held across our two retail stores so there may be some delays due to acquisition of the product from the location outside of your area
- We cannot be responsible for the loss or theft of items once they have been delivered to your home.
- We may restrict or limit the products or delivery options available, at our discretion.
- Please respect us by not placing an order unless you and everyone in your home is healthy.
- We may change these conditions at any time, without notice.
Note that deliveries will not begin until Tuesday April 7th as it will then have been 14 days since our stores were open and we were in regular contact with the public. We will do our best to provide you with prompt delivery, but again please be patient as we work to serve you to the best of our ability.
While to our knowledge we remain healthy, we STRONGLY recommend that you follow appropriate procedures to sanitize the deliveries we make to your home. Some steps to do this may include:
- Avoid direct contact with the delivery person
- Leave the package outside for a few hours and/or spray it with aerosol disinfectant before handling
- Dispose of all outer packaging immediately
- Wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds or more
- Disinfect any high-touch surfaces you had contact with after handling
- Avoid touching your face, including your mouth, eyes and nose
Our top priority is to ensure the health and well-being of our valued friends and customers. All of our actions and procedures over the past weeks, and going into the future, have been put in place to prioritize this. We must all do our part to stop the spread of this virus. Thank you to everyone who is doing their part!
We continue to appreciate your messages. Drop us an email or interact with us on Facebook. Don't forget to complete your Easter colouring contest and share it with us!
Thank you for your ongoing support and understanding,
Chris, Stephanie, Cassandra and the Brighten Up team