Wondering why Sega isn’t taking advantage of most people being at home with a ton of merchandise sales? It’s almost certainly because, by their own admission, several products already sold can’t get to buyers right now.
The near complete shutdown of non-essential businesses worldwide in an effort to stop the spread of novel coronavirus–mandated in many areas–means some warehouses can’t operate on-site, unless they ship food or medical equipment. In the United States, Sega’s shop has alerted to the change in a two sentence advisory on their shipping page, citing the state of California’s executive order from Governor Gavin Newsom to cease operation of all on-site business that does not support “critical infrastructure” to the state. The advisory reads in part:
Please note that some orders placed on or after 3/21/20 will ship within one week after California lifts its business suspension order, and businesses are permitted to resume normal operations.
Several, but not all items on the shop are impacted, including Sega’s recently launched monthly pin club, several pieces of Sonic movie merchandise, the Sonic pizza cutter, the “Barrel of Doom” mug, Sega Genesis branded cartridge soap, the Sonic Mania Plus glow-in-the-dark poster, and more. So far, most apparel on the shop does not appear to be impacted.
The shutdown is complete on the European side of the Sega shop, where the decision was made Monday afternoon, just ahead of the UK government’s directive to its citizens to stay at home, and halt all non-essential business. There, no items at all are being shipped:
We have today made a very significant decision to close our warehouse facilities, meaning we will no longer be in a position to despatch any orders made after 2pm on the 23rd March.
The decision was made with you, our customers, in mind. We want to be part of the solution, and not part of the problem. If we remained open, we would be putting our warehouse staff, our families, our couriers and our customers at risk. This is wholly unacceptable and not an option for us.
As soon as the government announced that all non-essential activity in the UK should cease, we made the decision to close our doors.
Unfortunately, this does mean that some of you have place and paid for an order which will not be despatched for at least 3 weeks. We will, of course, cancel and refund all of these orders upon request.
Our website will remain open for orders but we can not offer any indication as to when they will be despatched, other than to say it will be in at least 3 weeks time.
Though the EU shop suggests a three week timetable for getting back to business, no one can be sure when business will return to normal. Cases continue to rise across the United States and in pockets around the world. In the U.S., the Trump administration is expected to release updated guidelines with the goal of getting more Americans back to work, but the plan has been met with opposition by several state governors. Some of those governors have amended their executive orders to allow more businesses to stay open amid the evolving situation.
The lack of non-essential businesses working has severely impacted the world economy. In the United States alone, more than 3 million people filed for unemployment last week. It was the largest jump in the country’s history.
Both Sega of America and Sega of Europe have instituted work-from-home policies in the wake of government regulations restricting the on-site operation of non-essential business, joining much of the rest of the gaming industry.