For the latest advisories and health recommendations on how you can protect yourself and your family, please visit The World Health Organization at www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
Our extraordinary Customer Service and Client Success teams remain fully operational, with no impact on performance or order responsiveness. If you have questions about your business, please contact your Client Success Manager. If you have an urgent order inquiry, please contact your Customer Care Team.
Over the last nine months, our local teams have worked in every country to responsibly prepare and deliver orders, while respecting all regional restrictions and community lockdowns. While some backorders are still being processed, and some popular products are facing temporary stock shortages, we are working to ensure availability wherever possible. Although many local situations change daily, we can report the following current status updates:
China’s factory output is accelerating at its fastest pace in a decade, as the country reported a doubling of sales during the traditional Singles Day holiday last week, as travel-restricted shoppers splurged on $74b worth of luxury goods. Regional safe travel bubbles are beginning to emerge, with a China – Hong Kong – Macau bubble joining Singapore – Australia, and New Zealand – Australia “corona corridors”. Across the Asia Pacific region, our partners continue to make good progress on clearing delivery backlogs, as member order volumes increase. Due to demand surges, there remains lingering supply shortages for televisions, home office furniture, tablets, laptops, appliances and some home haircutting products. Home fitness equipment and bicycles are beginning to be restocked after pandemic-related production delays. This month, we’re debuting an exciting range of secure virtual gift cards for popular brands in The Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand.
The region’s governments continue struggling to contain COVID-19 cases, with outbreaks still rising in Colombia, Panama, Belize and Honduras. While Brazil has reduced case growth, it is still reporting up to 40,000 new cases daily. In Argentina, 1.3 million infections have devastated a country already struggling with unemployment, skyrocketing inflation and a turbulent economy. Over 60,000 businesses have closed, which has temporarily affected local reward fulfillment, but we anticipate resolving this issue this week. In other countries in Latin America, members continue to fuel a surge in orders across all reward categories. Merchandise stock levels remain healthy and only a few localized lockdowns are affecting our team’s ability to safely deliver orders, resulting in temporary shipping delays.
The number of new daily infections in India has thankfully almost halved since our October newsletter. In Mumbai, a government scientific panel announced a new case model that suggests the country may have attained ‘herd immunity’ levels. Assuming social distancing, mask-wearing and hand washing measures continue “the pandemic could be controlled by early 2021” according to their predictions. The traditional Diwali holiday closures are slowing deliveries this week. Despite rolling containment zone lockdowns, and localized closures of malls, cinemas and schools, many businesses continue to operate. Our members are placing orders at unprecedented levels, especially for the new generation of iPhones and over 160 new beauty products that we have recently added to the catalog.
This week, as the US surpasses its 11 millionth COVID-19 infection, every state is reporting a spike in new daily infections, except for one — the U.S. Virgin Islands alone is reporting a decrease in cases. As Thanksgiving approaches, Washington, Michigan and Oregon are introducing new social distancing restrictions and 36 states have legislated mandatory mask-wearing in public. In spite of this, our partners report very few order processing or delivery delays. Just in time for the holidays, limited supplies of bicycles are now back in stock.
As Canada follows many countries into a second tidal wave of infections, provincial governments are reintroducing targeted business shutdowns, social gathering restrictions, and extending virtual education solutions. Members continue to make Apple, Samsung, BOSE and KitchenAid among our most popular reward items, along with fitness, gaming and home haircare equipment. We have recently added the popular Big Green Egg BBQ, Oakley ski and snowboard goggles, 82 Times watches, the new iPhone 12 range, ChannelLock hand tools, Bose Sleep Buds, and more new rewards to our catalog. At this stage we are seeing minimal impact on order delivery timeframes.
Africa and the Middle East
Morocco, South Africa, Algeria, Kenya, Angola, Tunisia and Jordan continue to report high caseloads, in contrast to many other countries in the region. While order volume continues to rise, local deliveries may be delayed in some countries as our partners navigate evolving restrictions.
Despite carefully modulated government responses, the growth of new infections is increasing across Europe again, with jumps reported in Montenegro, Austria, Poland, Sweden, Russia, Switzerland, Spain, Ukraine, Italy, the United Kingdom and others. Many previously reopened borders have been closed, with quarantine restrictions and ‘stay-at-home’ guidance returning. Orders are still being accepted across the continent, and most members continue to order and receive deliveries with minimal delays. Order processing may be affected by stricter warehouse social distancing restrictions. As the busy holiday season approaches, many courier services are urging members to order early to avoid late deliveries.
While some countries are experimenting with safe travel corridors, and many airlines are flying, evolving border restrictions and local arrival quarantines will continue to affect travel plans. Our travel team urges all members to visit the travel portion of their program site and review the cancellation policy that relates to their booking. If there is an opportunity to cancel directly on the website we would recommend doing so. If their travel is imminent, with the departure date outside of the cancellation policy window, please submit a cancellation request and we will work to see if a cancellation/refund is possible. Cancellations that would normally not qualify for a refund are being reviewed on a case-by-case basis with individual airlines, hotels and accommodations to support travelers during this time. If a member is currently at their destination and requires emergency assistance, they are encouraged to contact: (858) 999-8206 (MX Toll Free 800-681-5365, AU Toll Free 1-800-146-417, UK Toll Free 0-800-069-8735, JPN Toll Free 0800-222-1195)
Around the globe, event suspensions, postponements, cancellations, and other approaches have been announced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some events that are suspended or postponed today may eventually be cancelled, but event promoters may take days, weeks, or even months to make a final decision. For events that have been cancelled (meaning the event will not be held at its scheduled time, or any time in the future, OR it will be held without patrons in attendance) the member is entitled to a full refund of the purchase price, including delivery charges. You, nor the member, need to take any action, as our customer service team will email you with full refund details. Given the number of events impacted, we've been advised that members can expect to receive refunds within 4 weeks. Many major events have been cancelled, while others have been suspended or postponed, rather than cancelled. These events – and orders associated with them are in a “pending” state and are treated as postponements. Until they are cancelled, we cannot issue a refund. Should the events eventually be rescheduled, any tickets purchased will be valid for the rescheduled event – as per standard industry policy. If and when any suspended or postponed events become cancelled, we will issue a refund.
We’re proud of how our supply chain partners continue to adapt and respond to this global pandemic. Our Customer Service and Client Success teams are fully operational, with no impact on performance or order responsiveness. If you have questions about your business, please contact your Client Success Manager. If you have an urgent order inquiry, please contact your Customer Care Team.
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