If Covid-19 wasn't already bad enough for businesses, one Wellington shop owner had to spend an anxious month waiting for a shipment of goods after news of a possible pirate attack.
It's not yet clear what happened to the ship, the Spirit of Hamburg, earlier this year, as there are conflicting reports of the captain falling victim to piracy or mutiny by his own crew.
Nicola Cranfield, who owns Cranfields, said she was reading shipping reports during the nationwide lockdown when she recognised the name of the vessel carrying her shipment of Italian handmade pewter homewares.
The "lovingly hand built" items, such as cutlery, photo frames, candle sticks and table wares, were crafted in Northern Italy.
Reports suggested the cargo ship had come under attack from Colombian pirates in the Port of Cartagena, and the captain had been killed.
Further reports have raised the question of whether a mutiny had occurred, but the matter is still under investigation.
Cranfield said she could do nothing but anxiously wait to see if the $20,000 worth of pewter products would arrive or not.
"I heard about it in April, so yeah, in lockdown, juggling all these balls, and then I'm like wow, just add pirates to the mix.
"What do you do? You just have to roll with it."
The pewter had to be transferred to another ship, and "amazingly" arrived about a month late.
Cranfield wondered whether pirate attacks might become more common as the pandemic continues.
Many items of higher value were normally transported by air, but more retailers were forced to ship via sea because of the lack of flights, she said.
"The pirates must know that there's more valuable goods being sea freighted."
The pewter collection now sits unscathed at the newly opened Cranfields store on College St - a sister location to the brand's three decade-old flagship store on the capital's Golden Mile.
"I'd made the decision to open the College St store at the start of the year, before the full impacts of Covid had really hit. We'd made promises to Wellingtonians and our suppliers that we were committed to honouring," Cranfield said.
The shelving and front counter in the new store are bespoke and were handmade by friends out of work because of Covid-19. Cranfields also stocks items from many New Zealand makers, such as Wellington-based jeweller Zoe Porter.
In addition to locally made products, many items are found on Cranfield's travels overseas in search of new makers and supplier.
"Each piece has a story behind it, from our Mongolian slippers to French antique tables. I try to find pieces that are sustainable and heirloom quality."