Private: COVID-19: Updates and Announcements
The purpose on this page is to keep you, our Urban Leaf family, updated on how we are handling the COVID-19 situation and to inform you of the impact it is having on our business. Things are changing rapidly, and more than anything we hope that you are staying safe and well.
Are we still operating?
Yes. Our entire ‘office’ is a remote one, so there has been no change to how our corporate functions are working. That means that Nate, Rob, Emily and Yuko (as well as our tribe of fearless helpers!) are all online and working as usual. Feel free to contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org if your question is not answered below.
Order Volumes – Too Much Of A Good Thing?
As much as we love ice cream (and perhaps you do too), Mom was probably right when she told us that there was such thing as having ‘too much of a good thing’. We have recently seen a ~10x increase in order volumes, as a result of
- Much of the country being stuck at home quarantining
- Mothers Day
- Many Americans developing a new interest in gardening and
- Most of our competitors being out of stock.
The Google Trends (based on Google search volumes) chart below gives you a taste of what’s been going down lately.
In addition to the demand increase, we are also dealing with a number of operational challenges:
- Unexpected US Customs inspections. Our kits are all assembled in the US, but we do rely on a few imported components. Customs held up one of our shipments looking for masks and other medical supplies. The good news is they didn’t find any, and things are moving as normal for now, but this did add some unplanned for delays
- We usually sell a fair amount of product via Amazon, which means they normally ship the orders for us. They have blocked us from sending inventory to their warehouses as they prioritize COVID-related products, which means we have to pack all those Amazon orders ourselves.
- New health and safety practices have helped ensure the welfare of our assembly teams, but have come at the expense of productivity
- Typically we see 20-30 support tickets per week. This number recently peaked at 400. We are a 3 person company and are typing responses out as quickly as our little fingers will allow. But time spent emailing = time NOT spent on operations or getting orders out.
- Most of our US domestic shipments are sent via USPS. As the entire country switches to online shopping, the postal system is carrying a lot of extra load. As a result, USPS is taking longer than it normally would to deliver your packages. We appreciate the hard work that these folks are doing, and ask that you be patient with them as they adapt to this new operating environment.
Long story short; things have been pretty crazy around here lately.
Products Out Of Stock
Please see below for a list of dates for when we expect more inventory to be available:
- AeroGarden Compatible Grow Sponges – we are making these as fast as we can, but right now it appears we are the only supplier in the country of this item. Please expect 2-3 week delays fulfilment for orders placed on or after May 19.
- The Bottle Kit for our Bottle Gardens is completely out of stock and will not be available again until mid-June.
- Our Smart Soil Replacement Kit has also sold out and will not resume shipping until the week of May 25.
- Our supplier of lids for the Liquid Plant Food is out of stock. We are currently looking for an alternative supplier and hope to have this item available again in May some time
- We have a large shipment of Window Shelves arriving on May 29, and will resume shipping shortly thereafter.
- The Exotic Basil bottle garden kit is out of stock, and we will not have more until some time late summer.
DISCLAIMER: If the item is not listed above, then we **should** have good inventory availability and **should** be able to ship within 1-2 days of placing your order. But again, things are changing rapidly and it is possible that the information above is less than 100% accurate by the time you read this post.
If you are looking for immediate shipment or a gift, we recommend the items listed under ‘Available For Immediate Shipping’ in our shop (click here).
Urban Leaf’s operates two fulfilment locations; in Upstate New York and Texas. Both are fellow small businesses. Both facilities handle mixed goods, including medical supplies and food. Both facilities, therefore, have been deemed essential services.
Some SKUs (items) we carry at both locations, some are only at one location. If we have your item at both locations, we will fulfil from whichever facility is closer to you such that it can arrive to you sooner. We may decide to split your order into multiple shipments in order to get it out faster.
Please take care of each other out there. These are challenging times, but brighter days are ahead.
If you have any questions that are not answered above feel free to drop a question in the chat window below, or send us an email to email@example.com