Like the rest of New Zealand (and most of the world) RJ Eagar Limited had to shut their doors and couldn’t trade for 7 weeks last year. Whilst initially it seemed totally surreal there were lots of positives outcomes due to these unprecedented circumstances.
Thanks to our IT support Baker Tilly and Janko for supplying the hardware, several of our staff were set up overnight to have the facilities to work from home which proved invaluable. Thanks also to the wage subsidy from the government meant we could retain all our staff. This certainly reduced their stress levels and meant they could have a well-earned break with their families and be ready to hit the ground running as soon as we could trade again.
Social media and zoom calls meant our staff could stay in touch – after all we spend almost as much time together as we do with our families! Lots of funny chats and memes, birthdays were still celebrated while we all ‘eagerly’ (pun intended!) awaited our return to work and finding out what the retail world would be like post Lockdown.
Working from home allowed our administration team to pay the wages and meet our creditor requirements so our suppliers could also continue to function until full trading re-opened for business again.
Luckily Michael Eagar had the foresight to assume there would be supply problems. As we now know its not just imported product that were affected. NZ Made goods have also experienced long lead times due to renewed demand and difficulties sourcing fabrics and componentry from overseas.
During lockdown we placed orders for a wide variety of beds, giftware, accessories and furniture to ensure we could meet the market when our customers were able to return to our showrooms. The good news is our stores are fully stocked with a fabulous range of product, the bad news is we are running out of places to store it all!!
One area where we had been remiss was having an e-commerce platform so the planning for this also started over Lockdown. Due to our huge range of product it has been a mammoth task to undertake but we are pleased to advise we are almost ready to have this new platform go live! Watch this space!!
RJ Eagar is thankful to all the support from our customers who have been outstanding since our doors reopened. So much so, we have created 4 new job opportunities to support our experienced long serving staff. Its great to see their knowledge being passed on and the company continue to grow.
We are also so thankful we live in NZ, particularly our fabulous province of Taranaki.