COVID-19 Response at All Laudisi Enterprises Companies

05/29/20 by Sykes Wilford

As is true of everyone in the world with an internet connection, we've been closely monitoring COVID-19 and its effects worldwide. While we have taken various actions to practice social distancing and limit risk to ourselves as employees of Laudisi, to our families and to our wider communities, the normal operations of the company have not been seriously disrupted. We are still adding new inventory to the site, accepting orders, answering customer service inquiries and shipping out packages. Things are far from normal around here—normal would be irresponsible at this point—but we're all still hard at work.

Following CDC guidelines and Irish Governmental guidelines, we have taken a number of precautions thus far:

Updates as of May 29th, 2020:

In the United States: Our brick & mortar store, Low Country Pipe & Cigar, reopened to the public today, May 29th, 2020. Following CDC guidelines, we've established a number of operating conditions to help ensure the safety of our guests and staff:

  • Our square footage will permit no more than eight customers at any given time.
  • Customers will be required to check-in and be seated, similar to the way restaurants are operating. This will allow us to keep count and provide lounge access when there is available seating.
  • As customers are seated, and again when they leave, we will disinfect all areas, including chairs, tables, and ashtrays. Our staff will wear both masks and gloves while maintaining and cleaning the lounge area.
  • We will maintain several hand-sanitizing stations throughout the store, with one located at each of the tables in the lounge, one at the entrance, and one at the customer side of the cash register area.
  • Our staff will select requested cigars and other products and bag them for all of our customers.
  • Limited outside seating will remain available for overflow and for those who prefer being outdoors.
  • In addition to these measures, we will also disinfect other surfaces on the showroom floor periodically throughout the day.

Updates by Country as of May 1st, 2020:

  • In the United States:
    • Smokingpipes: Operating normally, with most office staff working remotely (including offices in China and Japan). Minor shipping delays, particularly on international shipments.
    • Low Country Pipe and Cigar in Little River, SC: Store closed to customers. Open for curbside pickup.
    • Laudisi Distribution Group: Operating normally, with most office staff working remotely. Some shipping delays.
    • Cornell & Diehl: Operating normally.
  • In Ireland:
    • Peterson Factory and Distribution in Sallynoggin, Dublin: Closed until June 8th.
    • Peterson of Dublin on Nassau St, Dublin: Closed until June 8th. Mail Order available. Please email [email protected]
    • Smokingpipes Europe: Operating with office staff working remotely. Minor shipping delays within Europe and to North America. Significant delays to Asia-Pacific.
    • Operating with office staff working remotely. Minor shipping delays within Europe and to North America. Significant delays to Asia-Pacific.
  • We have encouraged remote work for office staff, as possible:

    • Of the roughly 50 people who work in the main offices in Longs, SC, almost all have been able to work entirely, or partially, from home. There are still people working in the offices every day, but the place is pretty empty. Smokingpipes Customer Service is mostly working remotely; please be patient with us if you need us to look at a pipe in person (it's still possible; it's just slower than normal).
    • On a more limited level—because we don't have very many people per office elsewhere—others are being encouraged to work from home where they can. This goes for office staff at: the C&D building in Longs, SC; Peterson House in Sallynoggin, Dublin; Smokingpipes Europe's offices at Nassau St, Dublin; and Smokingpipes' China Representative Office in Chongqing.

    We have canceled or curtailed all company gatherings:

    • We like to bring our entire South Carolina based staff together once a month and put 70-80 people in one room for a get-together. We're not doing that for the time being.
    • Lunch times and break times at the main office, as well as the Cornell & Diehl building in Longs, SC and Peterson House in Sallynoggin, Ireland, are being staggered and broken into smaller groups and distributed into (now pretty empty) office areas.
    • Other large meetings and company social gatherings have also been canceled.
    • We are accepting no non-essential visitors to our facilities, and are unable to offer tours of Smokingpipes, Cornell & Diehl or Peterson at the moment.

    We have implemented process changes in manufacturing and warehouse operations:

    • The downside of manufacturing and warehouse work is that it needs to be done on-site. The upside is that people already tend to work pretty far apart, compared to office staff. Still, we're adopting various policies to limit risk of exposure and transmission.
    • Latex gloves are being employed throughout the warehouse, with continued and stricter use at C&D, paired with regular hand washing.
    • High-touch surfaces are being cleaned frequently and efforts are being made to reduce touching, particularly on shared computers and touch screens (using styluses instead of fingers, for example).

    We have canceled or restricted all company business travel:

    • All company business travel by air has been canceled.
    • Only absolutely essential business travel by car.

    Of course, we are taking all recommended precautions. We're closely monitoring updates to CDC guidelines. We're washing our hands. A lot. We're practicing social distancing. We're being cautious. In these uncertain times, we think it behooves all of us to take any actions we can to limit transmission.

    The pipe smoking community, filled as it is with resourceful individuals, will get through the current disaster, as it always does. In the meantime, we will continue supporting the needs of the community and maintain our high standards of customer service. Thank you for your continued support.