Promo Supplier Statuses Following PA, CA, NY State Shutdowns
Last night, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolfe ordered the immediate shutdown of non-essential businesses in their respective states, impacting promo suppliers. Today, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a similar order, and it’s more than likely that other states will follow suit as things develop.
The orders still allow employees to work remotely (how do you think we’re doing this in Philly?), so the lights are still on for these companies, and some are still finding ways to process and fulfill orders in the interim.
Today, HPG announced that its Origaudio brand would immediately shift operations from California to other HPG facilities in Texas and Utah.
“This is a surreal time for everyone,” Origaudio co-founder and senior vice president of marketing and innovation for HPG Jason Lucash said in a press release. “Firstly, our top priority is to keep our staff and their families safe and healthy. Second, we’re grateful, once again, to be part of the HPG family, and therefore capable of flexing on short notice to the Handstands facility in Utah and BEST facility in Texas. We do note expect any disruptions at this time, and our accounts team is standing by for any customer inquiries. We know this is already a difficult time for the world, our country, our distributors and our staff, so we are glad to have a solution in place to keep the Origaudio brand going during these difficult times.”
Moderne Glass Co., based in Aliquippa, Pa., sent out a message via email and on its homepage regarding its status.
“Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolfe has ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses in PA to close their physical locations as of 8:00 p.m. EST today, Thursday, March 19, to slow the spread of COVID-19,” the statement said. “Due to this mandate, Moderne Glass Co. Inc., a corporation located in the state of Pennsylvania, will be closing on Friday, March 20, at 2:00 p.m. EST until further notice. Any questions or concerns may be addressed to email@example.com. We will respond to you as quickly as possible. We appreciate your understanding in this matter and hope you remain safe and healthy. We will advise when this mandate has been lifted and we reopen.”
High Caliber Line, based in Irwindale, Calif., sent out a message today assuring customers that it is still open for business, and that it considers its business “essential.”
“We are a distributor of a wide range of products that we believe are ‘essential,’ and we supply ‘essential’ large, nationwide companies,” the statement says. “Our company supplies products in the restaurant and retail home improvement companies nationwide. The company also supplies critical hand sanitizers, face masks, first aid kits and other essential items. Therefore, we believe it is in everyone’s best interest to remain open and do our part in helping support our customers in their critical time of need.”
It's unclear at this time where other large suppliers in these states stands. Some, like alphabroder in Pa. and Next Level Apparel in Calif., also have additional offices or distribution centers elsewhere. OTTO International Inc. closed its California office, but its offices in Georgia and Texas remain open and are still taking orders.
On the distributor side, many in the impacted states have already transitioned to remote work, though the shutdowns are likely to affect businesses of different sizes in different ways. The immediate impact was unclear. Joshua White, general counsel and senior vice president of strategic partnerships for BAMKO, based in Los Angeles, said the company is still operating at full capacity.
"The California and Los Angeles shutdown orders don’t directly impact our business. We closed our offices and have been working from home going back to last week, and we operate on an entirely cloud-based platform so there’s no disruption to workflow," he said. "We also have redundant warehouses across the country, so we’re well-insulated against distribution disruptions as well. If you’ve been paying attention to other countries, the progression to a shelter-in-place order was always an inevitably, at least in a place like Los Angeles. I think it’s a very good thing that we got there sooner rather than later given that we were going to end up there eventually."
Suppliers in states that are still allowing companies to keep physical locations open, such as Storm Duds Raingear in Attleboro, Mass., are still taking precautions to limit spread and practice social distancing in the office and warehouses.
“All Storm Duds facilities have implemented numerous precautions to protect our employees from the spread of the coronavirus,” a statement from Gary Libman, president and CEO of Storm Duds Raingear, says. “Our production facilities are fully operational and business hours will remain the same until further notice.”
Obviously, this is a quickly developing story. When we started working on this today, New York had not declared the “stay at home” status. As things change quickly, more states could follow Pennsylvania, New York and California by next week, and we’ll update this list as suppliers communicate their capabilities and solutions for distributors.