Plans for Reopening
Howdy folks! I hope that you’ve endured the shelter-in-place order and are in as good a health as possible given the state of the world. We’re now starting to look forward towards brighter and sunnier times and we’re carefully assessing the ability of our business to open safely and serve the needs of the comic and gaming community. This post will include TENATIVE dates and outline how we’ll facilitate and safe and productive reopening when permitted, while still adhering to the social distancing guidelines recommended by the CDC and the governor.
The short (TL;DR) version of this is as follows – we’re going to facilitate reopening the store in four phases. Each phase will give you more access to the shop and its facilities while still keeping everyone as safe as possible.
Updated 08/28/20 - Given the rise of cases within the US, and the pause in the opening process for Washington state, the store is currently in a modified version of our phase 3. Our plan is to move onto the fourth phase of our opening process once King county moves to Phase 3 of it's own reopening process, and it's been in that phase for a few weeks. Stay tuned to our facebook and twitter for more details.
Regardless of whether we’re open to the public or not, there are some important dates coming up in May. Let’s talk about how we’re gonna handle each of these before we review our Phased Opening Plan. All of these dates occur during our second phase, so we’re working under the assumption that we’ll be in our Soft Reopening Phase (see below).
May 15th – Magic Ikoria Release
Currently, we’re assuming that Ikoria’s release weekend is going to be occurring on schedule. You should be able to pick things up at the door, and we’ll be able to sell you boosters, prerelease packs, singles, boxes, the whole nine yards.
If you paid for courier delivery or shipping, those orders will go out on May 15th. Courier orders will start being delivered by me after we close our pickup windows, and I’ll deliver things as fast as I can. That said – based on the volume of sales, it may not all be done in a single day. All I can ask is for your patience here.
May 20th – The Return of Weekly Comics
Our comics distributor, Diamond Comics, has announced that they plan to begin distribution of weekly comics again starting Wednesday, May 20th. As with the Ikoria release we’ll be open for walk-up sales in limited capacity. If you’d like to become a subscriber, now would be a great time to contact us to set up a pull box to make sure you don’t miss a book.
Phase 1 – Pre-Opening Preparations (May 10 - 30)
Before we can get back to the business of serving the community, we’ve got to get the shop ready. During the next week or so we’ll be having conversations with our staff, cleaning up some of the work that’s been done in the store during the downtime, and making sure that we’ve got all the precautions in place that we’ll need to safely return to an open state.
We’ll still be available for call-ahead curbside pickup Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 11 AM – 5 PM. Courier runs will also still happen on those same days after the curbside pickup window closes.
Phase 2 – A Soft Reopening (May 31 – June 20)
Once we’ve prepared the store so that our staff can safely operate it, the plan is to open up in a ‘shop-for-you’ state. Our doors will be open, but we’ll have tables at the doors staffed by our team. You tell us what you want, we’ll go get it for you and ring you up for that, or assist with taking orders for you.
Our operating hours during this time will be 11 AM – 7 PM, Monday – Saturday in order to accommodate more walk-up traffic. Courier deliveries will still happen 3 days a week, just like in Phase 1.
Phase 3 – Low-Volume Browsability (June 21 – July 4)
Assuming the curve is heading down at this point, we’ll move onto letting customers into the store. We’ll maintain one designated entrance and exit during this time, and areas of the shop will be designated one-way to allow customers to safely distance themselves. We’ll also be limiting customers to 5-10 people in the store at any given time. You’ve probably seen this done if you’ve been to some of the smaller area grocery stores around town.
During this phase, our operating hours will be 7 days a week, 11 AM – 7 PM. Courier deliveries may still take place, but will be dependent on the demand for the service.
Phase 4 – Modified Normalcy (July 5 – Aug 29)
As we move into July and August, the goal is to get back to something resembling a normally functioning store. Expect to still see masks and gloves on our team and maybe some other forms of social distancing in place, but the tables will be back and in store gaming will resume, but with pretty firm limits (such as masks and gloves required if you’re gonna be playing in events). Prerelease events may still happen, but don’t expect as high a capacity as we’ve been able to host before due to social distancing.
We should be back to our standard operational hours by this point (Monday – Fri 11 AM – 11 PM, Sat / Sun 10 AM – 9 PM).
Phase 5 – ‘The New Normal’ (Aug 30 into 2021)
This is about the point where we get back to a larger capacity for events. Assuming that contact tracing and testing are widespread, we can get back to something resembling a normal store operations again. The store will be open regular hours. Depending on the state of the world, masks will (probably) still be necessary, but we may be able to operate fairly close to the way we operated before the pandemic hit. There may be periods of outbreak during this time that force us to step backwards again, but by and large we should be through the worst of it (again, assuming that we’re able to contact trace and get rapid and easy access to testing).