How to Prepare Your Retail Store for the End of Lockdown

How to Prepare Your Retail Store for the End of Lockdown
While we may still be trying to adjust to the ‘new normal’ of lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak, there will come a time when we begin to get back to normal. Whether that is sooner or later is impossible to tell at the moment. However, it is important that your shop is ready to roll as soon as customers can come back through the doors, so here is our guide on how to prepare your retail store for the end of lockdown. Whatever industry you work within, the end of lockdown will bring new challenges and almost certainly come with new considerations that you have to make in order to be able to trade. This is why preparation is so important ahead of the government setting the ball rolling. Physical Distancing in Your Retail Store The shops that have remained open during lockdown have had to introduce physical distancing measures. Supermarkets in particular now feature queuing areas with two-metre gaps taped off to keep customers a safe distance from each other. There are also one-way systems implemented and special queueing procedures in order to help customers and staff adhere to the two-metre social distancing guidelines imposed by government. It seems almost certain that, as other sections of the retail industry are allowed to welcome customers after lockdown, these measures will become a necessity for all shops in the UK. Even when cases begin to drop, the fear is that having people flood into stores with no restrictions will trigger a second wave of the virus. You can get ahead of the game by ordering barrier posts, barrier rope and other crowd management tools to help prepare your retail store for the end of lockdown. It might be that you have to limit the number of shoppers in the premises at any one time, in which case these items will become essential. Other Anti-Coronavirus Safety Measures for Retail Other anti-coronavirus safety measures that are in place at those essential shops that are currently open during lockdown include sneeze guards, which create a see-through barrier between customer and employee. This allows both parties to maintain eye contact and converse as they normally would during a transaction, but the sneeze guard can help prevent the transmission of potentially dangerous particles between them. The post-lockdown retail landscape will not suddenly see customers immediately return to their old habits with full confidence. They will be understandably cautious of heading into a busy retail environment at first. This is why it will be important to install items such as sneeze guards that demonstrate to them the measures you are putting in place in order to create a safe shopping environment. Gloves and Masks for Staff and Customers There is some talk of insisting that people wear gloves and masks in public once lockdown begins to lift. However, there is no official word on this yet. In Austria, shoppers are required to wear masks when inside stores as restrictions begin to slacken. In addition, citizens of the Czech Republic and Poland must wear masks whenever they are outside of the home. In order to prepare your retail store for the end of lockdown, it would be sensible to stock up on surgical masks and gloves for use by your staff members and customers alike. Even if there is no official requirement in the UK, when the end of lockdown comes, for people to wear masks in public, kitting out your employees with these items seems a reasonable precaution anyway. Prepare to Become Cashless One of the consequences of the Covid-19 outbreak could be that our stores become pretty much cashless. People are wary of using physical currency due to the chances of picking up the virus from either the money itself or from the close physical contact with shop assistants when they pay and receive change. This means that you need to prepare to become cashless and to accept payments of all amounts via credit cards, debit cards, mobile payment systems and the like. Shops selling small items, who continue to insist on a minimum card payment may find themselves missing out on lower value sales, which could add up to a fair chunk of money over time. Use Lockdown Wisely If you run a shop that has been forced to close during lockdown, use this time wisely. Take a look at your layout and make sure that it provides the best possible customer experience. You may now have the time to have a major rearrange of displays and rails. This allows you to consider the best ways of showing off your products to your clients. Why not take a look at our display solutions for inspiration on how to breathe new life into your shop floor. Another way to prepare your retail store for the end of lockdown is to give it a real deep clean. As soon as you are back open for business, your customers will appreciate the gleaming store laid before them as they head into your premises, confident that you have done everything you can to keep them safe and healthy.

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