UPDATE - January 23, 2021
Many designers who take an interest in YMYX have written asking about our current status, and whether we have been impacted by COVID-19 and when we aim to launch. In fact, in the world there are very few businesses that have gone unaffected and unscathed by COVID-19's brutal path; most businesses have been affected, one way or another.
Recently, there have been COVID-19 outbreaks in Beijing and Shanghai as well. In Europe, the situation does not appear resolved, either. At some of the Italian factories cooperating with us, their key technicians or upper management personnel have even been ill with COVID-19, causing inevitable delays. Others have also reported the illness among their workers ranks too.
In Europe, the lingering effects of COVID-19's impact on logistics is also still being felt. Just to give an example, a package sent within and to be received within the EU, having been sent via express with a 3-day estimated delivery, costing 280 euros, has yet to be received, and we are now on day 11. This situation is still widely unpredictable, and we cannot accurately predict when we can smoothly enter the market in reality.
At the same time, when it comes to European exports to China, the speed of the delivery has slowed down and the cost of shipping has risen many times over. More crucially, it is very unpredictable still, how long it will take for goods to clear customs at China's ports, so at this present stage, it is not yet the suitable moment to enter the market, and as a result, we have to take a bit more patience, and wait this situation out.
I trust that the speed of the administration of the vaccines will also increase bit by bit, and we will see the impact of that take hold. In Israel, for instance, despite still struggling with soaring infections for those who haven't been vaccinated, they have managed to inoculate already more than a quarter of their population, 3 days ago hitting over 200,000 inoculations in one day, and maintains their position as one of the fastest countries in the world to administer the vaccine.
This process will still take some time across the globe, but we believe in the effectiveness of the vaccines, and that in the not so distant future, things will stabilize.
So as governments grapple with the distribution of the vaccines, we also ask each of our several hundred partner designers, to stay prepared; no matter if it's natural or man-made disaster at this point, if we can ride out this last wave, then we will be winners.
In this uncertain moment, we are still pro-actively pushing ahead with our work, despite the circumstances, and even though this work has also been greatly affected by the ongoing persistence of the coronavirus.
We hope that around June of this year, things will stabilize around the world with the vaccines being administered, even if it is being done a bit more slowly than planned.
Just as I have shared before, we have now entered the phase of creating samples for each of our partner brands, and as I write this post now, we have completed the first group of finished samples based on our partner brands' designs, including Gianluca Soldi, among others; they have already seen the photos of the samples, and they will start to receive the physical samples for validation, from next week. At the present moment, many more designers are still in the midst of the sampling process, and at the same time we will continuously expand the scope of this sampling phase. We have asked all of partner designer to start to prepare the designs to be sampled, and more will continuously activate to start actual sampling in coming weeks.
The factories who are working with us, including those from Portugal, Italy and Spain, from the CEO to the production management leaders and technicians, they are now all putting in their full energy and focus toward cooperating with our partner brands and focusing on creating the optimum samples.
We also believe, that through the process of doing these samples, our partner brands, the factories, and YMYX, all three parties, will create an operating system that can prove efficient and executable, after we have gone through adjustment and adaptation from this sampling phase.
And this system will become even more well-oiled and successful, as we enter the China market. So for all of us involved in the project, for YMYX, our partner designers and our factory partners, this has not been a wasted period of time. We are pro-actively preparing, and we have confidence that we can ensure a very smooth, and very efficient operating system for when we can enter the market when the COVID-19 situation is controlled.
Today, we have confidence that we have never had before, and we believe, that we will definitely be able to lead all of our partner designers toward success, as long as they can achieve what they have promised to when we met them in person, face to face, in each of our in-person interviews in Milan. They each told us they could create very high quality, unique designs, that could feel so close to luxury that consumers might mistake them for a luxury brand, even if they are not famous. They simply lacked resources, and were doing it on their own, but with support, they felt confident they could achieve it. As long as they can unleash their talent, and reach that level as they committed, then we certainly can walk down this path toward success together.