** UPDATE 23rd MARCH 2020 **
In view of the latest advice from government we have decided to close our showroom from today. This is in order to protect both our staff and members of the public from Coronavirus as much as we can. We hope to be open again in the not too distant future and will of course advise when this is the case.
Otherwise we will be operating as normal, so you will be able to contact us by email, phone or online chat. Please continue to support us by ordering by phone or online over the coming weeks. Whilst most of our team will be working from home for the time being, there will be one us here at the showroom regularly to process and dispatch orders. If we are not here then calls will be forwarded so we we will be able to continue to provide our usual high level of service as far as possible. We will be working with our partners to arrange deliveries to our customers, and you will have the option of choosing a 'contactless' delivery if you would prefer - please see below for details.
Wishing you all the best and that you and your loved ones all come through this safe and well.
I thought it important to provide an update and information on what we at Shimu are doing to minimise the spread of the coronovirus COVID-19 and any impact this may have on our customers and staff as we go about our business.
Suppliers and imports
Along with thousands of other businesses who import goods from abroad, the virus has already had some impact on what we do. The main factory that we work with to produce our 'Chinese Classical' range of furniture has experienced delays due to carpenters and other workers being unable to return after Chinese New Year. However, most workers have now returned and the factory is now working on completing everything ready to ship with our next container. Assuming that transport and shipping space is available, we expect to be able to arrange shipping of this container within the next 2-3 weeks. We will keep any customers that have orders due to be shipped with this container informed of any change to this schedule as we get closer to the date. Please note also that all of our products are shipped in a sealed container and, with a shipping time of 6 weeks or more, there is no risk that the virus could survive on any of our products or packaging.
The situation with other factories and antique restorers that we use is varied, with some being back at full capacity and others not yet fully open. However, we have a very large stock of both antique pieces and reproduction furniture here in the UK, including pieces that arrived with two containers shipped shortly before the Chinese New Year holiday. You will find stock details or estimated restocking dates on our website for each product.
Whilst normally I would plan a buying trip to China myself around this time of year, we are able to select antique furniture from trusted suppliers that we have worked with for many years remotely. We plan to arrange a container of antiques in this way within the next couple of months, so if there is a particular item you would like us to source for you from our supplier network then get in touch and we will be happy to help.
Our showroom in West Yorkshire is now closed in accordance with government requirements. We continue to process any orders placed online or by phone as normal, with payment accepted via all major credit and debit cards as well as Paypal. See below for details regarding delivery during this time.
For the time being we are all working from home as far as possible, with calls being forwarded so that we can continue to provide our usual service. One of us will be at the showroom on a regular basis to dispatch orders. It goes without saying that any member of staff reporting symptoms of the virus will be sent home immedately to self isolate. We will continue to monitor government advice and guidance as the situation progresses and will keep you informed through social media and our regular email newsletter of any changes. You can sign up to our newsletter by entering your email address in the box at the footer below, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
The government is allowing home deliveries to take place so deliveries of our products are still operating and our shipping partners are taking all necessary precautions to protect the wellbeing of their staff and our customers.
We use Parcelforce for smaller items and they will not now require customers to provide electronic signatures, or can leave a contact card if you are unable to come to the door. See https://www.parcelforce.com/coronavirus for more details of this policy.
Our specialist furniture delivery company, who use two man crews to carry out delivery of our larger items, will be carrying additional materials, hand sanitiser and extra gloves where necessary.
During this time please note that, in order to minimise any risk of infection to themselves and to you, the delivery crew will not be able to provide their usual service of unpacking your furniture and taking away packaging. Instead they will deliver to your room of choice and ask you to keep a minimum distance of two metres away at all times. Rather than using their usual handheld devices, the drivers will be using normal paperwork so that you can sign with your own pen. Where it is deemed not possible or not safe the delivery team will sign the paperwork on your behalf.
If you absolutely need your furniture to be unpacked then please let us know. We will hold on to your furniture and have it collected ready for delivery at a later date when the full service can be provided.
If you prefer you can also request a contactless delivery for your furniture. The delivery crew will make visual confirmation through your door or window when they arrive. They will then leave any items on your doorstep rather than bringing them inside, taking photos as proof of delivery. If you would prefer to choose this option rather then the usual 'room of choice' service then please let us know when ordering by phone or online (you can leave notes during checkout) so that we can confirm with the delivery team. The service otherwise will remain the same so a confirmation booking will still take place. Note that if you do choose this option neither we nor the delivery company can be held responsible for any issues arising after the delivery has taken place.
Lastly, I wish all of you all the best at this difficult time and that you and your loved ones stay safe. If you have any questions about any of the above please feel free to get in touch.