Hand sanitizer, face masks, curbside pickup… the ‘new normal’ for retail
In recent weeks, the CDC, The National Retail Federation (NRF) and local governments have all issued guidelines on how to safely reopen retail stores that closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There also has been a number of retail businesses that published their own guidelines. While there is an overwhelming amount of information to help retailers reopen, there are certain precautions ALL stores MUST implement if we want to avoid another shutdown.
Protect your customers
All stores must adapt the motto ‘the customer is always
right safe’. Most shoppers will have some level of worry about the risk of potentially contracting COVID-19. It’s your ‘new’ job to put there fears to rest.
Follow these reopening tips for retail and shoppers are more likely to visit your store.
- Social distancing: Ensure shoppers and employees practice social distancing (6’ apart) at all times
- Max capacity: Limit the amount of shoppers by creating a line outside your store
- Time in store: Keep traffic flowing by encouraging shoppers to spend the least amount of time possible in store
- Store cleanliness: Frequently clean your store and parking lot, and sanitize commonly-touched surfaces
- Hand sanitizer: Provide shoppers with hand sanitizer (create your own with a 60%+ alcohol content)
- Safety equipment: Ensure everyone in your store wears appropriate PPE (ie., face masks, gloves); you can even provide disposable PPE’s
- Repairs: Prior to opening, thoroughly inspect your building for any damage or issues caused by vacancy
- Ventilation: Increase ventilation and install new HEPA air filters;
- Contactless checkout: Implement curbside delivery and ‘contactless’ payment options (i.e., RFID credit/debit cards, digital wallets, self-checkout)
- Notifications: Post a notice on your doors (and website) informing customers not to enter if they have, or have been in recent contact with someone with COVID-19 symptoms. Also post information about your social distancing instructions, curbside pickup services, etc.
While you can’t control shoppers, you can encourage behavior that contributes to a positive and safe shopping experience for all.
Protect your staff
Many of the precautions that apply to keeping customers safe also apply to keeping your retail staff safe. However, there are a few additional things you can do to help them. This is imperative to safely reopen your retail store post COVID-19.
- Provide hand sanitizer for all employees
- Strictly enforce social distancing for staff and vendors
- Train employees on curbside pickup
- Provide paid time off to sick employees
- Leverage e-signatures for contactless delivery
- Suspend or modify your product return/exchange policy
- Launch a quick eCommerce website to take local orders
To help retail business through COVID-19, Celerant developed new curbside pickup technology, and created a page with COVID-19 resources for retailers.
- Curbside Pickup Application: www.celerant.com/curbside-pickup
- COVID-19 Resources for Retailers: www.celerant.com/coronavirus-resources-for-retailers