To the MN Home Outlet community,
Thirteen years ago, in 2007, I started a small TV replacement parts company (ShopJimmy.com) to help people save money on parts instead of buying a new TV. It was a new concept, but we were able to grow and hire people while the world entered the “Great Recession.” During the financial and housing crisis, many small businesses had to close their doors to never re-open; we were very fortunate.
Our business continued to grow, and in 2014, we took a step into the retail world by opening our first MN Home Outlet retail store in Burnsville. This time we were targeting discount home improvement goods. This sector of our business has been very challenging, to say the least, especially once we opened our Woodbury and Coon Rapids stores. I have made a lot of missteps (way too many) and it’s been a ton of work/stress/whiskey, but it’s also been a great learning experience. I hope we have provided our customers with a lot of value over the years, and I couldn’t thank you enough for your support.
Now we find ourselves in uncharted waters along with the rest of the world. Many wonderful people in America were laid off in the past few days as measures are implemented to limit the spread of the Coronavirus. Some shuttered businesses plan to pay their employees and some simply can’t afford to do so. These are our kids’ bus drivers, servers in restaurants, friendly retail associates, support staff in malls, and so many more. These are also members of our families, our friends and our neighbors.
Unfortunately, we’re one of those employers who would not be able to pay staff if we closed our stores, and they would need to collect a reduced check through unemployment. I want to avoid that at all costs.
I’m sure some people will call me irresponsible, but my goal is to try and keep our retail and warehouse staff working as long as possible while the world attempts to defeat this virus. Not only do I feel an obligation to our employees to do whatever is in my power to keep food on their tables, but I also feel a commitment to our customers who need to save money during these tough times.
Unless the government enforces a lockdown, and as long as our employees are willing and able to work, we will remain open. We have a lot of products to help people save money on things to improve life at home, from furniture to flooring to TVs and more.
With that said, like other retailers who remain open right now, we are doing everything in our power to clean and sanitize our stores. We have implemented rigorous cleaning guidelines, and we’ve also communicated with our staff the proper protocols for social distancing and self-quarantining in line with best practices and guidelines. We have also encouraged our staff to stay home if they aren’t comfortable coming into work. After all, the health and well-being of our employees and customers is always a top priority.
Please limit your time in our stores and maintain a healthy distance from others, don’t lick the shopping carts, wash your hands (and then wash them again) and don’t bother stealing toilet paper out of our bathrooms... it’s the cheap stuff.
Thank you for reading, and thank you again for your support over the years.