Is Your Business Ready To Bounce Back?
Today, Boris Johnson announced plans for non-essential businesses to be allowed to open back up on June 15th. The announcement is contingent on COVID-19 cases being stable between now and then.
On June 1st, outside open markets, as well as car showrooms, will be allowed to open up and serve customers.
The government has provided new guidelines for retail businesses to help manage their business in this new COVID world. Below is a summary of the governments ‘COVID Secure’ guidelines for retail businesses:
Objective: To minimise the contact resulting from visits to stores or outlets.
We have all experienced the long queues outside the local supermarket. Well, this is here to stay! Measure out your shop and work out what is your maximum capacity for customers to follow the 2m social distancing. Limit the number of customers in-store at any one time to this amount.
Encourage hand sanitisation. More businesses will be offering hand sanitisation at the point of sale and entry to reduce the risk of transmission.
Encourage customers to avoid handling goods they may not buy.
Look at the way customers walk around in the shop and think about altering layouts to help customers walk around without needing to squeeze past. Many supermarkets have trialled one-way aisles and queue management.
Place 2m markers on the floor to help customers visually see where they should wait or what distance they should keep.
Service the queues outside where possible. This is a huge trick that I think many businesses are missing. Especially coffee shops. Service your queue from inside. If you are a coffee shop that is reopening, get yourself another portable card machine and a tablet near the Barista so you can tackle the queue.
Provide COVID Visuals
Signalling to customers that you are taking the necessary precautions puts them at ease. It also reminds them to be mindful or nudges them to sanitise. I am personally pleased when I see businesses displaying and upholding any COVID measures they are putting in place to protect their customers and themselves. I am sure I am not alone.
Keep It Clean
Before June 15, make sure you do a deep clean of the shop ready to open up those doors. If you have a ventilation system, check if it needs a service.
When businesses open, they should aim to keep it clean and be seen to keep it clean. It only takes one customer to feel you are not taking the right measures. That one customer who cares may tell 10 others.
Objective: To reduce transmission through contact with objects in the shop.
Encouraging hand sanitisation should help with this. Ask your staff to proactively offer sanitising customers. If possible, put in place a pick-up and drop-off service. Stagger the collection times to avoid peak customer visits.
If you get a returned item store it for 72 hours.
Personal Protective Equipment
According to the government website, PPE (e.g., masks and gloves) should not be needed if the above are adhered to. The evidence of its effectiveness is weak. They state the evidence suggests that wearing a face-covering does not protect the wearer, but it may protect others if the wearer is infected but have not developed symptoms.
I hope this short summary helped clear up some of the key points to get your business back on track after this hiatus. The batteries should be charged and hopefully, you’re ready to go. It will be different but if you’ve got this far you’re got a lot further to go.