The State of Union (Update): The Store is Open Again!
We are taking standard precautions given the state of things. First of course, proper masks are required (valve masks or sheer neck tubes do not apply.) We have a stack of quality black surgical masks you're welcome to take for free upon entry. We also have hand santizer stations positioned throughout the store, and soap-and-water in the bathroom.
We've also reduced capacity to one party (2ppl max) per employee. That’s usually going mean a max of 4 to 6 customers in-store for the time being. With 3,000 square feet of space, 20-foot ceilings and permiter fans running constantly to circulate air, and a general policy of keeping social distance, we feel we're keeping as safe an environment as we can under the circumstances.
The full list of rules is posted on the door - which remains latched during the day. So in between ringing the doorbell and waiting for us to open up when you arrive, please take some time to read the new protocols.
Once in the store, we are doing the personal shopper/concierge/NASCAR pit crew routine - helping you get in and out as efficiently as possible. Especially if there is a line we are trying to keep visits to 20 minutes or less.
Proper helmet fittings might take longer—and require an $8 deposit to cover the cost of a head/neck covering.
We continue to ship web orders daily (free over $40!); and we are also will continue to offer curbside pickup, curbside helmet fittings (buy ahead, confirm fit in-person), and and will be providing phone/email support for all your *quality motorcycle gear* needs.
For those shopping remotely we’ll even send you a free tailors tape to facilitate helmet fittings. Look for the online consult form on our helmet pages to get the process started.
Here’s how we’re looking to improve the experience in these uncertain times:
1) We’re bringing the store to you. We relaunched our website the week NYC went into lockdown. The goal of the long-awaited new website has always been to take in-store experience we’ve cultivated at the brick-and-mortar, and better deliver it online. We’ve already made a lot of progress: our entire store inventory is now available at UnionGarageNYC.com. And it will only get better as we build out (and re-build, apologies for any dead links) more content, and launch a forthcoming series of categorical gear guides. Our goal is never the hard sell, but to give you all the information necessary to make informed decisions on your own.
2) We’ve installed a live chat function on the website. We are doing our best to keep our staff working throughout this slowdown. Whether we are hunkered down at the store shipping orders and taking inventory, or working remotely on the website, we’re here to help. After we close next Sunday you can hit that chat Icon on the lower right-hand side of the site with any questions. You can also always call us directly.
3) We’ve installing interest-free financing with Affirm. Times are tight, and everyone's trying to hold on in these uncertain times. We now have a seamless checkout option that will allow you pay for purchases over time.
4) We've reimagined the helmets shopping process. We've taken some drastic measures to ensure we're being as safe and conscientious as possible. See our post on "Helmet shopping in the Time of Corona" for the full run-down.
In short, if you are unsure of your size, we'll send you a tailor's tape (free of charge after rebate). We've also implemented a "free balaclava" with every helmet sale, which we ask is worn over a simple cloth or surgical mask when trying on helmets. We've installed an online consultation form to get the process started, and we've outlined a clear policy on how we're handling returns and helmet cleaning.
Looking to the future...
We’re not going to pretend motorcycles are any more important than they are at the moment. We are in an international life-and-death health crisis and economic free fall, and people are hurting. Right now the most important thing we can do to help is is follow the social distancing guidelines set out by the WHO and CDC, self isolate, and ride this thing out as best we can.
That said, motorcycles do happen to make the perfect Pandemic Escape Pod. And if you’ll be exercising your right to get out on a motorcycle, we’re here to do everything we can to make sure you’re properly equipped.
And when this pandemic passes—and it will pass, taking with it the fear and the panic that have upended all our lives, we hope to still be in business, standing by ready to help make your experience riding a motorcycles as fun, as safe, and as smooth as possible.
Just like you, we don’t know exactly what the future holds, but we’re trying our best to find the safest line out of this treacherous corner we’re all in together.
Showing proper formation on a shop ride last summer. Photo by Fabio Affuso.
Be safe, be in touch through Instagram, or online, or by live chat, or over the phone...and we look forward to seeing you all on the other side of this mess.
—Union Garage, & Co.