It's October, and we’re in the home stretch of the most bizarre, tumultuous year in recent memory. Everything has been turned upside down, from child care, to education, to travel, to making and shipping Nuggets. When we leave the house, we do so with a mask on our face, and a sanitizer bottle in our pocket. Basic activities — like simply going to the grocery store — require planning, coordination, and a healthy dose of patience. Hey, that sounds kinda like trying to buy a Nugget!
Here in North Carolina, we haven't been immune to the delays and inventory shortages that have hit manufacturing chains all over the world. Demand has far outweighed supply for the items that make extra time at home more comfortable for us, resulting in global shortages for dumbbells, above-ground pools, and even bicycles. At Nugget, we've had to tell customers, for months on end, that we couldn't sell them the products they wanted to buy — with split shifts, lowered headcounts, and other COVID-conscious safety regulations in place, it took us longer than ever to make and ship Nuggets.
Meanwhile, the rest of our team was building out a brand new production facility — one that would finally put us in a better position to handle the rising Nugget demand. And they made it happen: over the next two months, barring any COVID-related setbacks, we’re going to make and ship more than 60,000 Nuggets out of Nugget HQ (that's more than we shipped all of last year combined). There's just one problem, though: as our supply has increased, so has demand. And that's why 60,000 Nuggets — again, more than we shipped all of last year — won't be enough for every family who wants one this holiday season.
So, in the interest of fairness, calmness, humility, and practicality, and with your feedback in mind, we've been hard at work the past few months organizing something a little different this holiday season. It isn't perfect — "perfect" would be selling as many Nuggets as customers want, to as many people as want them, shipping as soon as they need them. That's not the reality of 2020; not at Nugget, and not at most manufacturing companies. The solution we're offering instead is a little silly, a bit flexible, and engineered for simplicity — in other words, it's a lot like the Nugget itself. We're hopeful that, having considered all factors, the two options below will offer a little something for everyone. Happy shopping, Nuggeteers.
As some of our customers know all too well, with each one of our recent release days, we’ve seen web traffic spike higher and higher, to the point that thousands of customers were bound to miss out on ordering, even if they logged on at exactly the right moment.
Customers stressed and strained over having the fastest fingers, entire families signed on to shop at the exact same moment, and internet scammers with the intent to resell our products for a profit used sneaky techniques to secure theirs before anyone else. That's no fun for anyone, and since necessity is the mother of invention, we’re rolling the dice on something brand new.
All Nuggets shipping out before Christmas this year will be sold via a lottery system — we’re calling it #NugLotto2020. (Note: This does not include remaining 8/14 orders, which are on pace to ship out by the end of October!) Customers will sign up using a Nugget store account and a mobile phone number, select the top 3 colors they want the chance to buy, and every Friday, they’ll find out if they’ve been randomly drawn to receive a unique-to-them, fully reserved, checkout link. No fast fingers, no multi-device scrambling, no dirty-rotten-no good scammers.
Every Wednesday, starting this Wednesday (10/21), we’ll have open enrollment periods, during which you can enter #NugLotto2020. And every Friday, starting this Friday (10/23), we’ll do random drawings of 5,000-10,000 customers, across all of our available colors. If your email is selected, you’ll be sent a checkout link to purchase a Nugget in one of the colors (the color will be pre-selected, and not editable) you listed in your Top 3. If you aren’t selected, your entries automatically roll over to the following week, so you don’t have to do anything, except check your email the following Friday when we do our next weekly drawing!
None of us knew what was in the cards for this year — not at Nugget, and not around the world. Odd doesn’t begin to describe it. Now, in the face of unusual circumstances, and based on your feedback, we’re trying something brand new. We hope you’ll give it a chance. Scores of information, boatloads of questions, and oodles of answers can be found by tapping the button below.
Of course, the lottery system won’t solve everything. While it will create the most calm, relaxed purchasing process we’ve had in almost a year, it won’t allow everyone to buy. Every week, thousands of people will be randomly selected to place their Nugget orders. That’s great — but what about everyone else?
We’ve heard a consistent request throughout the year: why not let customers purchase and secure their place in line, no matter how long shipping will take? We’ve held off, for one simple reason: production capacity. Limited by how many Nuggets could be produced and shipped in our small factory, it wouldn’t take that many Backorders being placed before shipping times extended late into the following year. We didn’t want to do that.
So what’s different now? Our big new factory in Butner, NC. It’s still isn’t as big as it will eventually be, but it allows us to get through a Backorder list in a fraction of the time our old factory could. That’s why starting in November, we’re opening up Backorders once again, allowing customers to get their orders placed on their schedule, not ours. We won’t have shipping time estimates available at time of purchase, but we’ll keep in touch via email in the weeks and months that follow — all Backorders will ship in the first half of 2021. If or when the number of Backorders we receive pushes our projected shipping timeline past mid-2021, we will be forced to pause Backorders — but that would be a LOT of orders, and we expect that to take a while, if it happens at all.
And don’t worry, even once you’re signed up for a Backorder, you’re never locked in. Whether you end up being selected in the Nug Lotto and no longer want your Backorder, or simply have a change of heart at any point, you will be able to cancel your Backorder before it ships, no questions asked. The future is bright, and we’re almost ready for takeoff. Tap the button below to learn all the details about Backorders 2021.