Dear Valued Client

These are unprecedented times in our lives.  Last night the World Health Organisation classified Coronavirus as a pandemic. The Coronavirus (Covid-19) has infected at least 24 people in South Africa at the time of writing this and this number will inevitably rise.

This poses a risk to our industry as it does to most industries as well as the general economy. The intention of this letter is to let you know what our plans are to try and mitigate risks as much as possible and to share some insights into the risks distributors face for the foreseeable future.

We are encouraging a change of habit to reduce physical contact by no longer shaking hands, hugging and kissing hello etc.

Starting from mid next week, we will be screening each person entering at the boom (staff as well as clients) with the use of non-touch thermometers and preventing access to our buildings to those with temperatures. These strict measures are unfortunately necessary at this time.

We are mindful of our responsibility to the industry at large to ensure that our business continues to operate at full capacity and therefore a new Corona case at Amrod could have widespread consequences to Amrod as well as to many of our clients.

Whilst South Africa has not yet entered a stage of community-based transmission, which is when people get the disease without having travelled to a high-risk country, nor have been in contact with someone who has, the risk exists that this will happen and if/when it does, large gatherings will have to be cancelled, such as sporting and cultural events, schools, universities etc. This is currently taking place in many US, European and Asian countries.

Events, launches, conferences and large gatherings are a big contributor to this industry’s turnover and therefore, one can expect that these cancellations will impact end users, suppliers, distributors and branders alike.

We don’t like to be the bearers of bad news but we believe that it is important at this time to be as pragmatic as possible about the risks this pandemic poses to our industry and therefore we would like to suggest a few things to you ahead of a possible downturn in our industry. These suggestions are over and above the typical medical recommendations that are available online.

As things stand, we have excellent stock levels of most items heading into winter. We have had a tremendous response to our new clothing and in the majority, stock of our new styles are already available, which is a big plus. Whilst supply out of China is not at full capacity as a result of the Coronavirus, things are slowly getting back to normal there and we do not expect a major negative impact on our stock this year as a result.

Many of you have been asking about further supply of hand-sanitisers. As you can imagine, these are hard to come by worldwide. We have been able to procure 250,000 units amongst three sizes and shared this information with our clients early this week but this stock is now all pre-sold. We are doing our utmost to ensure consistent and further delivery but we do not want to load anymore incoming dates onto our system without certainty of delivery and therefore once we do have this info, we will alert you. There are currently shortages countrywide in respect of certain ingredients making up the hand sanitiser formula and unfortunately we cannot take any shortcuts in this regard with formulas that are dodgy.

Lastly, amongst the chaos, you may or may not have noticed that our currency has depreciated to well over R16/$1 in the past week. If this weakness remains, unfortunately we do anticipate some price increases, but for the time being, we are not announcing one. As always, we will provide you with two weeks notice so that you are able to advise your clients.

Whilst it is time to buckle up, we as individuals and as an industry have faced many difficult situations in the past 20 years and have managed to navigate through them, coming out stronger on the other side and i anticipate that the same will apply this time around.

Please feel free to share any concerns and thoughts with us at info@corporatebranding.co.za