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 procurement team is in constant contact with our multinational network of over 400 suppliers, manufacturers, assemblers, distributors and other partners. While many local situations change daily, we can report the following current status updates:
New data shows stronger than expected growth in Chinese factory activity, bolstered by rising domestic demand. Part of Beijing’s post-COVID economic recovery plan is a $205 billion investment in eco-friendly EV chargers, smart grid upgrades and high-speed rail networks. Across the Asia Pacific region, our partners continue to make good progress on clearing delivery backlogs, as member order volumes increase. An out-of-control flareup in southern Australia has caused the Victorian government to announce a State of Disaster and institute overnight curfews and local movement restrictions for the next 6 weeks. To help members across Australia better cope with months of pandemic isolation, we’re launching a new range of pampering treats from our friends at Endota Spa, Ecoya and MOR boutique. Plus, to help make your house feel more like home, we have new rewards from SodaStream and stylish dinnerware from Maxwell & Williams.
South American governments continue to battle high infections in crowded communities, with high case counts in Peru, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina and Bolivia. In Brazil, 5 consecutive days of lower infections is being cautiously noted. Merchandise stock levels remain healthy and only localized lockdowns are affecting our team’s ability to safely deliver orders, resulting in temporary shipping delays.
This week we’re launching major brand additions to our catalog in India. Members will find new kitchen, home office, home improvement, BBQ and fitness products from popular made-in-India brands like Lifelong, Wipro, Deckup and Hy-Tec. Plus, we’ve added a new selection of household whitegoods from Whirlpool, Blue Star, Carrier, Haier, and Godrej. Over 1.2 million COVID-19 patients have now recovered across India, as the country takes decisive action to limit transmission. Nightly curfews, containment zone travel and business lockdowns continue, temporarily preventing shipments in the hardest hit cities. Elsewhere, where allowable by law, many businesses continue to operate across the subcontinent, and home-bound members are placing orders at unprecedented levels. In an ongoing political dispute, the Indian government banned 47 Chinese apps last week including Baidu and Weibo, in addition to 59 others banned last month.
Last week, the nation’s top 4 ecommerce giants reported record earnings, demonstrating how consumers have turned to Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook throughout the pandemic. We’ve seen and responded to an equivalent surge in orders, with deliveries in some states experiencing minor delays as our vendors work carefully to clear backlogs. Some kitchen appliance brands, TVs under 55”, home cleaning devices, bicycles, and laptops continue to be popular with members, creating temporary stock shortages. Eleven US states are now backtracking their restart strategies, and a further 14 have paused reopening completely.
Canada has now joined many countries in releasing a COVID-19 exposure notification app, based on privacy technology developed by Apple and Google. Over 1.1 million downloads were reported within 3 days. All provincial governments have completed or are close to completing their economic reopening stages, with school opening plans well underway for next month. Our customers are seeing minimal impact on merchandise availability or order delivery timeframes.
Africa and the Middle East
As the region continues to rebuild from high per-capita case counts, Emirates airline is requiring passengers to show a recent negative COVID-19 test result before departure. Iraq is responding to a late July infection spike with a new 10-day curfew. A searing heatwave, with temperatures exceeding 56C in Kuwait, has also affected many countries. Order deliveries may be delayed in some countries as our partners navigate evolving restrictions. Our new range of gift cards from Sony, Namshi, 6th Street, Shahid VIP, Deliveroo, Uber Eats, LamsaWorld and more are proving to be popular reward choices.
From tomorrow, the European Union is reopening borders to 15 countries, including the UK, China, Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay. Notably absent: the US, Russia and Brazil. There are now over 480 separate second-wave outbreaks in Spain, with young people and immigrant workers making up the majority of new cases. Two large field hospitals in Barcelona and Madrid will open this month to expand treatment capacity. Members continue to order and receive deliveries with minimal delays across the EU.
While many airlines are still flying reduced flight schedules, border restrictions and local arrival quarantines will affect travel plans. Our travel team continues to receive many inquiries from members who are concerned about current travel bans and destination safety. We urge 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 are being 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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