Loyalty Bookstores' Covid-19 Operations
UPDATED 10/18/20: We continue to prioritize the safety of our staff and neighborhood and will not resume normal operations in 2020. However! We continue to ship out daily and have contactless pickup available at both locations. We also have window shopping at our Petworth location and appointment shopping at our Silver Spring store four days of the week. You can make an appointment here for Silver Spring shopping Wed-Sat afternoons inside the store with limited capacity and Covid-19 safety measures in place. Our Petworth window shopping hours are Wed-Fri 12-6pm and Sat 10am-6pm, no appointment necessary. Orders placed today should expect to be completed in 1-4 weeks depending on book availability! We will continue to check in on staff health and the Covid-19 numbers in our communities and update our google page, website hours, and social media accordingly as the holidays roll on! Cheers, Hannah
Dear Friends of Loyalty,
After a spring of not being sure we'd make it while our owner Hannah was shipping out books solo, a summer where we were able to hire back staff due to the intense demand for Anti-racist literature and then were faced with massive book chain shortages, we now come to a fall of excitement, uncertainty, and hope. We're going to focus on the hope, because we have you, our customers, who have stayed with us through all of this. Your outpouring of orders, requests to help, and positive vibes are felt deeply by the Loyalty Team! Thank you for shopping locally and at a Black business during the pandemic. Unfortunately, due to a catostrophic lack of leadership on the part of our federal government, we're looking down the barrel of this pandemic for the long hall. We're looking at ways to do well by you this Holiday season and how to make 2021 best for our booksellers and the book lovers who trust us. We have launched our new quarterly subscription box, Leap of Faith, continue our bundles for book nerds of any age, and this week we began appointment shopping in Downtown Silver Spring and window shopping at our Petworth spot at Willow! We're also brainstorming a special end of year treat for our Loyalty Members so don't forget to renew or sign up for 5-10% off your purchases year-round.
We are shipping out books daily from our store stock and our suppliers, but due to the need for social distancing and safety as well as printing delays from publishers it can take 1-6 weeks for orders to be fulfilled. Trust us, this is maddening and not at all how we hoped to be operating at this point. We're shipping as much as we can off the shelves or directly from our publisher partners. Print runs are held up due to Covid related delays, all shippers are overwhelmed, and we simply cannot compromise anyone's safety. We love the demand for books! But part of doing our best to be an anti-racist business is to think of the staff and community first, which is frankly bad capitalism. Thank you for putting your dollars with us and we will do our best to honor that choice and respect our staff and neighbors while getting you your orders. If you need to read something urgently and cannot wait for the shipping or pickup process, you can get audiobooks and ebooks from Loyalty as well! And for speedier shipping you can shop with our partner Bookshop.org where we have curated reading lists for Anti-Racist and recommended reads, preorders by BIPOC authors, and more. Bookshop.org is a great alternative to *cough*amzn*cough* and shares their proffits with independent bookstores nationwide. They are, however, a separate business so please be aware that we cannot handle their returns and our discount codes do not work on their website.
As of today, October 18th, we are processing orders from the last week of September through the first week of October. We will continue to update this page with information as we race to catch up. Last Monday, we received a shipment of books from a publisher we ordered on June 16th that were finally able to be printed and released from backorder. On the flip side, we were able to ship out over a hundred copies of Bibi's Kitchen on its publication day with signed book plates because we saw the preorder numbers rolling in and were able to secure our shipment from the publisher. We say this because we're trying to give the full picture of just how wild the book industry is right now and our role in it. Please note that early holiday shopping is ideal to get your items in December! And for a certain President's book, preorders are a must!
Please be patient with our booksellers as we get updates and orders out. Feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org or @loyaltybooks. We have 3 staff who are just handling customer emails, but note we are getting hundreds a week and also need to actually get to processing those orders and shipping too! So we apologize for the delays.
We have resumed our book clubs via Zoom and are hosting author events via Crowdcast. You need to RSVP for links and passwords to these events and any event with a donation requirement gets fully donated to Black Lives Matter DC or a charity of the author's choosing. Check out our calendar for more details on what programs are coming next.
Stay tuned to social media and our newsletter (you can sign up on our homepage!) for more Loyalty details!
We're grateful to the larger book world for stepping up to help indies and Black businesses.
As always, our goal is to survive this uncertain time in order that we may thrive later in our communities. We'll keep innovating and staying with you, our awesome community, as long as we can. Be well, stay safe, keep demanding change, and read something that brings you joy.
Hannah + the Loyalty Team