Re-Opening our Newport Boutique

by Dakota Whitworth October 06, 2020

Re-Opening our Newport Boutique

Over the last weekend, we quietly opened the doors of our Newport boutique and invited walk-ins in for a very soft re-opening. It had been 7 months since we had shoppers in the store, and the change came with the excitement that reminded us of what it was like to open for the first time. If you've followed us for long you'll know we have been slow and very cautious to re-open while our community has dealt with the pandemic, and we are so grateful for your patience.

I know the biggest question on everyone's mind will be what changed for us (yes, we know we are stubborn). And really, little has changed in terms of the coronavirus - our community is still struggling to handle the effects of this tragic pandemic - but we know a lot more than we did 7 months ago. We had all those months and all that knowledge to think deeply about the precautions that would be necessary to keep everyone feeling comfortable in our store. We had months of infection data in our community maintaining relatively steady. We had the reassurance that everyone has been learning how to abide by mask mandates, sanitizing protocols, and other precautionary measures so that they have become the new norm. And finally, the summer rush in Newport had come and gone and we felt that we could implement regulations better with the lighter foot traffic that comes with our off-season. When our team was so eager to come back to work, our customers were dying to come back to shop, and other retail businesses seemed to be adapting without getting people sick, we began to feel like we were standing in the way. So we shifted gears and got to work on building our COVID-19 Protocols for in-store shopping and training our team. We encourage you to visit the page for all the details on our policies. In brief summary we are:

  1. Sanitizing and disinfecting surfaces. We are washing our hands and disinfecting all surfaces between in-store shoppers and in our packaging area before handling your order.
  2. Disinfecting clothing. We are steaming every new and returned clothing item upon arrival at the shop. All clothing handled or tried on in-store will be immediately steamed before it is returned to the racks and available to purchase.
  3. Limiting exposure. Harper & Tucker team members are mandated to follow contact tracing guidelines and alert the team of any symptom or possible exposure to COVID-19. Any team member that exhibits symptoms or is potentially exposed will not return to the shop until they receive a negative COVID-19 test and have isolated for 14 days.
  4. Cleaning the air. When we are open for walk-ins, we are keeping both of our doors open so that we can get cross airflow in our store. We also have a HEPA air filter that insures 4 air changes per hour without factoring in the open doors.  
  5. Requiring masks. All persons entering the shop must wear a mask over both nose and mouth. Customers MUST wear their mask at all times, including when in the dressing room and trying on clothing.
  6. Requiring social distancing. All people in the shop must maintain a minimum distance of 6ft. In order to enforce this, we are limiting the shop to 2 parties at a time, or 4 shoppers total. If you have a larger party, please contact us so we can accommodate you.
  7. Requesting customers experiencing any type of symptoms refrain from entering our shop. We ask that you please be vigilant and refrain from entering our store if you have any type of sickness, or have been exposed to anyone feeling unwell within the past 14 days.

This re-opening, like everything this year, is unconventional, and so we are asking for your continued patience and kindness. Our store hours will not be strictly set, and we anticipate they will change week-to-week (hopefully expanding with time!) and sometimes even day-to-day. As of now, we are planning to be open for walk-ins on the weekends, while weekdays will be reserved for private styling appointments (both virtual and in-store!), curbside pickups, and local deliveries. So, let's get to the fun details of our new and expanded services!

CURBSIDE PICKUP

We are now offering curbside pickup 7-days a week! Select CURBSIDE PICKUP as your delivery method at checkout if you would like to pick your order up at our shop. We will respond to you with your pickup time as soon as your order is ready. We ask that you leave a note at the checkout page if you need to pickup your order by a specific time - orders placed by 2pm can almost always be picked up the same day. We will do our best to accommodate same day pickups for orders placed later in the day, but they do sometimes need to be scheduled for the following day. When you arrive to pickup your order, pull into our little driveway in between our shop and Farmaesthetics. We can meet you at our side door and you don't even need to get out of your car!

LOCAL DELIVERY

We are continuing with local delivery in RI! You can always select SAME DAY DELIVERY as your delivery method at checkout, and we will bring your order right to your door. We will even arrange to pick up returns and exchanges! Orders placed by 2pm will be delivered same day. We do our best to accommodate same day deliveries placed later in the day, but they do sometimes need to be scheduled for the following day. Always feel free to leave us a note in your order if you need it by a certain time and we will do our very best to get it to you!

STYLING APPOINTMENTS

In addition to virtual appointments, we are now offering in-store styling again! When you book a styling appointment during the week, you are guaranteeing a private and personalized shopping experience - it will just be your party and the stylist in the boutique. Styling is always complimentary, but we do require appointments to be booked 12 hours in advance. If you can't find a time you like in our calendar you can always contact us and we will do our best to accommodate you! Booking a styling appointment is the best way to ensure one on one attention, looks pulled specifically for you, and the shop to yourself. Remember, virtual appointments are still available too, and we can tailor the experience to whatever medium you are comfortable with.

WALK INS

This is the biggest new service - just being able to walk in and browse! As of right now, we are planning to be open for walk ins on the weekends, but you may just see us popping open the doors on some weekdays when we don't have private appointments booked! The best way to know if we are open is to call the store at 401-236-2623, or swing by and see if our door is open and our sign is out! We will also update when the doors are open on our Instagram and Facebook stories @harperandtucker - so make sure to follow us for daily updates.

Regardless if you walk in or book a styling appointment, we ask that you pretty please review and abide by our COVID-19 Protocols - it is the best way to guarantee we all stay safe, happy, and comfortable.

This is a big change in mentality for us - we have gone from being open 7 days a week from 10-6, to closed for months, to this new, very European approach of no set hours. We know it's a change, and we want to let you know that we cannot WAIT for a time when we will be open all day, every day. For now, in order to accommodate both the needs of our different team members, plus the different desires of a wide variety of our customers, this is what we are trying. We can call it a soft re-opening, for now. But we can't tell you just how excited we are for any kind of re-opening!

The shop is looking bright and ready for you to browse, and we have been dying to see and style you!! We have Fall styles already adorning the shop, with so many more new arrivals on the way. It has felt so good to get the store ready for you all again - from tagging each item, to scrubbing every last inch of the shop, to merchandising the racks - the rush of returning to some normalcy has been healing for us. The details may change and shift over the next couple of weeks (as we find hours that work best to be open and onboard more team members), and we are still keeping a watchful eye on our state's numbers, but we are hopeful that we will keep moving in the direction of normalcy. So bring your mask and stop by this weekend to say hello and browse in person! We cannot wait to see you!

xx Dakota


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