Advice on Reopening Shops After Lockdown
Advice on Reopening Shops After Lockdown
With the news that non-essential retail outlets can open from Monday 15th June following the coronavirus lockdown, it seems the UK is taking a first tentative step towards something that might eventually resemble normality. However, the social distancing guidelines remain in place and shop owners and customers alike are still understandably nervous. This is why we have compiled advice on reopening shops after lockdown, to help you plan for a return to trading, with the safety of staff and shoppers at the forefront of your mind.
Whether it is returning to your building that has been vacant for the past ten weeks, deciding how best to kit out your employees, finding ways to reassure your customers or anything else, you will find the latest advice on reopening shops after lockdown here.
Returning to Your Retail Premises - General Advice
It might well be that you have not set foot in your premises since the UK went into coronavirus lockdown on Monday 23rd March. If so, you will need to return well in advance of non-essential shops reopening on 15th June.
You should make sure that the electrics and lighting are working as they should. In addition, is the boiler in good order, the air conditioning functioning and other such items working? Check to make sure there have been no infestations of pests over the time the shop has laid dormant as well. You might want to ensure the tills and card machines are connected and that the WiFi works, if this is important to your business.
Before reponing shops after lockdown, you need to thoroughly clean both the public areas and the staff-only quarters. A deep clean is a great way to start this new era, when hygiene will be of even greater importance and note than previously. Shoppers will be keen to see stores keep to the highest possible standards of cleanliness in order to give them the confidence to browse, and cleaning and hand washing are key in the fight against infection.
What You Need to Do Before Reopening Shops After Lockdown
The government has issued advice on measures they want businesses to take before they reopen. The first step, once you have reacquainted yourself with your premises, is to draw up a Covid-19 risk assessment. Which areas of your business are not Covid secure and what can you do about it? Make sure you share your risk assessment with your employees and work with them to find solutions to potential problems.
You should also put in place procedures for hand washing, cleaning and hygiene before you welcome back customers. This includes encouraging employees to wash more often and for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. You are also advised to provide ample hand sanitiser for both workers and customers. There should be clear guidance on who can use toilets and how often they are cleaned, with hand drying facilities available to anyone using them. If there are objects or surfaces that customers or staff touch regularly, you need to add the frequent cleaning of these into the new procedures too.
In order to help maintain social distancing of two metres between members of different households when reopening shops after lockdown, you must put up signage to remind shoppers of this requirement. You could develop a one-way system through the store to help achieve this, as well as taping off two-metre sections of the shopfloor.
Sourcing PPE for your staff is also essential. For example, face masks help prevent the spread of the virus and are a visible confidence booster for shoppers debating whether or not to cross your threshold.
How The Retail Factory Helps With Reopening Shops After Lockdown
The Retail Factory can help with reopening shops after lockdown by providing bundles of all the essentials you need to get back to work. We’ll include PPE, cleaning equipment, hand gel and everything else to help you become Covid secure and ready to welcome back shoppers. Whether you are a small business, medium-sized operation or large scale firm, we have a post-lockdown hygiene package to help you get up to speed with the latest regulations ahead of Monday 15th June and the opening of non-essential shops in the UK.
In addition, we stock screens to protect both staff and shoppers from the transmission of particles. The checkout is one of the areas where there has to be close contact between employees and customers, but the screen adds a layer or protection that allows this transaction to be conducted as safely as possible.
As part of becoming Covid secure when reopening shops after lockdown, it is important to limit the number of people inside the premises at any one time. We have queue management systems available to help with this. These include barrier posts, barrier rope and more pieces of equipment to help you manage crowds more effectively and in a socially distanced manner.
Other Ways to Become Covid Secure
Other helpful ways to make your shop Covid secure include closing fitting rooms. It is very difficult to keep on top of cleaning these thoroughly after each use, so shutting them off for the remainder of the pandemic is sensible. It is also a good idea to ask customers not to touch items when browsing unless they are taking them to the till to buy. This helps reduce the chances of passing on Covid-19. Any returned stock should be held in a separate room or in a container for 72 hours before returning to the shopfloor.
For any other advice on reopening shops after lockdown, or for products to help you achieve a Covid secure status, don’t hesitate to contact us today.