Today, we're sending a big, hearty thank you to all customers that have found it within themselves to extend grace for small businesses during this time. We have received such strong messages of understanding and support for the temporary shutdown we have maintained since March 20th. This reinforcement of the core goodness within our audience has never made us more proud. We see each of you and thank you deeply for your patience! Now, for some much-needed updates.
We went into a temporary shutdown starting on March 20 for one big reason: our non-essentialness. During peak pandemic response, we've maintained that the most responsible thing a business can do is question whether they are helping or hurting during a national emergency. As much of a life-saver as the Nugget may be for thousands of families, during peak pandemic response, we believed that continuing operations and asking our logistics networks to function "business as usual" was not the most responsible thing to do.
Each customer out there waiting patiently on a delivery from Nugget HQ is someone playing a role in a civilian-led pandemic response, and it appears to be working. Over the past four weeks, with our factory operation completely closed, we've played our small role in North Carolina's encouraging response so far to COVID-19 — despite being the ninth most populous state, we are 22nd in COVID-related deaths. And in recent days, the incidence of new cases is starting to slow. Your patience has allowed us to keep our entire production line home, while still maintaining their pay and benefits. The early returns on these sacrifices for our community are showing hopeful data. This is worth celebrating! We are extremely proud of all of our sacrifices to help #flattenthecurve.
With the curve flattening and beginning to drop in North Carolina, we're cautiously optimistic about a re-opening of our shipping operation in the month of May!
When this shipping resumes, it is unlikely to be at full-speed. As soon as we are shipping again, customers will be given as much information as possible about when to expect their Nuggets. We'll need your deepest understanding and support, here, too. We hope you trust that Nuggets will be flowing out in Big Orange Boxes as quickly and as safely as they can.
Health precautions will limit our staffing numbers, and extensive distancing and sanitizing measures will keep us from being at top efficiency. But Nuggets will be once again making their way to homes all over North America - one little piece of restored normalcy in our highly unusual times.
With so many families spending increased time at home, more people are discovering Nugget than ever before — and they're landing on a site with no inventory. We wish it wasn't so. For those just now finding out about Nugget, or looking to add to their collection, we are planning to be able to restock all our existing colors in June!
We'll be working to have Nuggets available for sale as soon as possible, but we've got a lot of Nuggets to ship first! Once we get those Nuggets moving, we'll have restocks up as soon as we can.
And keep an eye out over the next week, as our social media team drops some clues related to our new colors for 2020!
In closing — we're grateful for all that are giving us the ability to do what was best for our production team. For placing orders with no clear date of shipping to support our team and our company. For the stories that trickle through, one by one, of the Nugget saving your sanity during this locked-up time at home. Not every business is so lucky. So Thank You — we'll be in touch soon. There are brighter days ahead.