A Letter to Our Customers
Distance makes the heart grow fonder...
The Ministry of Health has tightened measures to minimise further spread of coronavirus. The measures include the closure of workplace premises, retail outlets except for those necessary to support the daily living needs of the population, and limiting restaurants and food and beverage outlets to takeaway or delivery only. As much as we may argue that our scented candles support "daily living needs", we know they really are non-essential items.
All our retail stores will close from 7 April to 4 May.
Our online store will close from 5 April 2359hrs so that all orders may be dispatched to you in the coming week.
Our office and warehouse will also close during this period. Effectively, our company will shutdown temporarily. Being in retail, many of us work on weekends and on public holidays. In a strange way, this pandemic gave us all an opportunity to slow down. We want to seize this opportunity to give everybody a break and not have to feel guilty about it.
Pure Senses may be a small company but we strive very hard to always do the right thing, not the easy thing. This is especially confronting during a time like this when we, like many retailers, are struggling to survive.
Over the years, you may have developed a close friendship with our frontline colleagues and you may be concerned about their livelihoods during this period. As a result of your unwavering support for our business and our own prudence, we are able to pay full salaries to everyone in the company during this shutdown.
Since March, we are giving a $30 COVID-19 monthly allowance to every colleague (freelance, part-time, full-time whether they are local or foreigner) whose gross salary is $2,000 and below. This is to help them defray the cost of buying hygiene and disinfecting products like face masks, hand sanitisers and hand wash.
Many retailers and F&B operators are badly hit by COVID-19. We have initiated a $10,000 business-to-business loan to help fellow entrepreneurs and business owners in retail and food services buy some time in the short term before they receive the much-needed reliefs from our government. So far, we have lent out $60,000 to six businesses. These loans are interest-free with no strings attached and the repayment is deferred till July 2020 to be paid over 7 monthly instalments.
Starting this month, we will be distributing 1,000 food coupons to low-wage, frontline workers in the Orchard area who still have to work to provide essential services to the rest of us. They will be able to redeem a delicious set meal from Pope Jai Thai located in Scape. 90% of Pope Jai Thai's workers are people with disabilities. When I spoke to the founder Daniel earlier this week, he defiantly took in three new employees who had been displaced during this crisis. To him, it's not just about losing a job. He's concerned that his people will lose their dignity and fighting spirit along with losing a job.
Each set meal is $8.80 and Daniel kindly gave us a $0.80 discount so we paid $8,000 for the 1,000 meals. We also paid for the printing of the food coupon, which costs us $200. Through this, I hope we'll be able to support Daniel in generating the income and business activities to ride through this period. It's not just about handing out money. It's about keeping his team busy so that their spirits are high while they become more and more competent in their area of work through repetition.
In the coming months, we will continue to push for fair tenancy legislation to curb landlords' unfair practices that have become increasingly pervasive in commercial leasing. This leads to many businesses operating at close to breakeven. Pure Senses faces the same challenge. If these harsh conditions persist, predictably, in a few years from now, we will be out of business.
We would like to acknowledge our landlord at Paya Lebar Square for respecting us as equal partners. On 21 March, we had written in to all our landlords, seeking approval to shutter our stores for the wellbeing of our customers and employees. Only Paya Lebar Square respected our judgement and gave us the approval.
Our dear Customer, thank you for choosing to buy from us. We don't take it for granted. While you spend a lot more time at home during this period, remember to light up your Yankee Candle. Our candles can't kill the virus but it sure can lift your spirits.
Distance makes the heart grow fonder. May we love YOU more; may we love LIFE more; and may we love EARTH more.
Founder & MD
on behalf of everyone from Pure Senses