This has obviously been a week turned upside down for many in the New York area, including several friends/family who are still without power. While I personally am in a neighborhood that was not impacted, and led life in a fairly normal sense this week, not everyone was so fortunate. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, it was interesting to see how various NYC-based companies were affected and how they mobilized to relay this information to their customers, despite challenging circumstances to pull this together.
A few in particular stood out:
Delivery.com – I first saw this posting on Facebook and thought this was a creative effort. With the subways largely out of commission, yesterday, buses started running from Brooklyn to Manhattan, but with lines of over an hour in some cases, due to exceptional demand. Delivery.com reacted quickly and took this opportunity to hand out coffee and morning breakfast to people standing in line in hopes of easing their commute. I thought this was a smart move and demonstrated their agility and ability to respond quickly.
Fab.com – This was the first communication I received (on Tues 10/30), kudos to Jason Goldberg and team. It was a straightforward and basic text explanatory email highlighting how the Fab.com team was impacted and how the storm may also impact customers. I am continually impressed with their team for being incredibly proactive, transparent, and the way Jason has established a personal reputation/visibility with the fab.com customers. I did not receive most other email communications from companies until two days later, 11/1.
AirBNB.com – AirBNB waived fees on listings that would help those evacuated/without power in the NY-area to find alternate lodging. While not free (the renters still can make money and set their price), it seemed that AirBNB encouraged people to discount these listings and is not making any profit themselves on this type of usage.
WSJ.com, NYT.com – I first got wind of this on Twitter, but these media sites dropped their paywall for the week, allowing all users to access the content on these sites so they could stay up to date on the latest in NYC. I think this was the appropriate action from these media companies.
GiltCity.com – GiltCity NYC is donating 30% of profits from this week through Sunday to the Red Cross disaster relief. They were the first company I noticed to take this action, although I am guessing this is a more widespread effort at this point.
Additionally, I received a slew of emails revealing how the hurricane affected orders placed online, impacted various companies warehouses, corporate HQ and employees, and expressing the companies’ concern and well-wishes. This information was helpful in some cases where I had placed orders, but also felt routine/standard after a while. These included communication from J.Crew/Madewell, Tory Burch, ASOS.com, Rent The Runway, Soap.com, ideeli, Botkier, Learnvest, Uncommon Goods, Amex, Chase, Bank of America, and I’m sure others that I neglected to mention here.