How we are working during isolation
As our first full month of being in lockdown comes to an end, we wanted to update all of our lovely customers on how we are working together (despite being apart) to make sure Bernard is a store you can come back to and shop all of our wonderful products in person when this is all over.
As you have probably heard, the fashion industry (amongst many others) has taken a major hit during this global health crisis, with many stores and independent brands closing their doors for the last time as they are able to stay afloat. Luckily, we are a business made up of a very dedicated team of people that are working safely in the store and contributing from their homes to get online orders sent out and to keep customers entertained and updated with what we have to offer.
Our number one priority is making sure the orders are being sent out to all of our customers in the most safe and efficient way possible. As a small business, we are fortunate enough to have our office based above the store which has made the transition to work within the government guidelines a lot easier compared to bigger corporations. Our orders are picked from the stock room and left by the office door where they are then processed by our E-commerce manager whilst being packed by our office assistant in a completely separate room. We have started dropping orders off to our very local customers as a way to make the process quicker for people to receive their purchases. The order and packing process is not running as quick as it usually does, simply because we are working on a skeleton team, so we want to thank you in advance for being patient and for continuing to shop and support our business. Hand san and anti-bac wipes have become our new best friends and we are already making a plan of action for how our local customers can collect products as a way of easing back into normal shopping life when it's safe to. When the shop is finally allowed to open again, we want everyone to feel as safe and comfortable in the store as possible, so face masks and gloves have been ordered for customers and staff.
Last week it was announced that London Fashion Week will take place online and merge the traditional mens and women's shows to create a gender-neutral event as a way of sustainably and safely making sure fashion can still be shown during lockdown. This will also mean that the buying side to fashion will change and trips to showrooms for the Bernard team will be postponed. However, Helene and Cristina's buying skills will not go to waste, as brands are already starting to send look books for AW20 collections and more and more spring/ summer collections are being added to our website for you to shop that were originally in store exclusive brands.
As a team we are all communicating through WhatsApp, with daily meme and funny video updates to keep spirits high, as well as bouncing back and forth ideas on how we can keep our customers entertained through our social media platforms. On our blog we have come up with a Top Pick's blog series where we choose our favourite items from the website for you to look at and get outfit inspiration from. More recently we have come up with a new series called Bernard Bake Off, where a member of staff will send in a recipe every week for everyone to try out for themselves.
On Instagram our Bernard Treasures and VEJA competition is still ongoing as well as daily updates of products so that we can continue to create a fun community for our followers. We have also created a Spotify account (just type in Bernard Boutique to find and follow us) where we release different themed playlists with songs chosen by all of us at Bernard, so if you are looking for a new playlist, we've got you covered. Two weekly newsletters are being created for your viewing and buying pleasure, so if you are not signed up to our newsletters and want to hear about our latest news and updates before anyone else, simply scroll down to the bottom of our homepage and insert your email.
The window displays are getting frequently changed with new stock, so passers by on Esher high street get something new to look at and have something to be inspired by during their daily walks. We want to show our support for all of the key workers, so we are displaying NHS themed artwork in the windows. If you want any of your family's work featured, just slot it in through the store's grid if you live locally and someone will put them up for you.
We want to keep you entertained and continue to create content that you actually want to read, so if you have any suggestions please so let us know either via our Instagram or if you have any of our numbers, just give us a text... The more ideas the merrier. We hope everyone is keeping well and staying safe. Even though we have been told to 'socially distance' ourselves from everyone, we like to think of this as a physical distancing whilst we continue to build on our ever growing online social community whilst we wait for all this to be over.