As with everyone, our primary concern is with the health and safety of our staff and community, and with that in mind, we have made changes to our procedures which I will elaborate on below. What isn’t being said as much in these emails is that us like many of you, we have some serious economic concerns moving forwards.
Our hope is that we can get through this without any major layoffs, and that once this is a memory, we can still be here to support this great community in Alberta and across Canada. With that in mind, (with appropriate adjustments) we are going to continue to stay open until we are told otherwise.
At this time of year, we have a skeleton crew and minimal in store traffic, so based on government protocols we believe we can continue to operate in a responsible and safe manner. We will of course monitor this daily and make changes as needed.
We feel there is value in remaining open as the top Doctors and government officials are still encouraging people to get outside and being on the water is a great way to implement social distancing. As we transition seasons, we hope that paddling can be a fantastic outlet for families and individuals at a time when we are very restricted in the activities we can pursue.
Procedures we are putting in place:
- We only have 2 or 3 (max) staff in store at any one time and low volume of customer traffic means for no risk of any gatherings of large groups at the shop.
- Daily disinfecting of all major touch point surfaces in the shop (computers, certain displays, tills, door handles etc)
- We currently have alcohol-based hand sanitizer available for all staff and customer use. We are having a hand sanitizer station fitted in the coming days.
- Any staff members with any signs or symptoms will remain absent from work as per the government recommendations.
With the need for social distancing we have brainstormed on how we can continue to be a support to the local and greater area paddling communities.
Currently we are working on implementing the following:
- Online Live Stream product and paddling information sessions. These will be done in a forum where attendees can ask questions in real time, and will function much like an in-store interaction
- We are going to be offering weekly ‘Contact Free’ deliveries in Calgary and Edmonton.
- Our tradeshow season has been shut down; these are normally the source of some great deals for early season paddlers. We will be offering these online shortly.
- The big one is our annual Boat Swap is cancelled. We are looking at options for doing a fun, online version of this. Stay Tuned for more information
Thanks everyone for your support and friendship over the years. We will continue to do our best to return the favor and plan on being here for many years to come. We will also practise what we preach and continue to support local businesses both in-store and online.
We hope that the aggressive measures in place make for a speedy resolution to this situation.
Stay Safe and Healthy
Simon Coward and the AQ Outdoors Team