Be ready to reopen your business in a COVID-19 retail environment
How to implement social distancing and other safety regulations to your shop space to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus
Small businesses and retailers are now adapting to a new way of working as government allows reopening for a majority of them. While this is a good step towards the normalisation of everyday life, it is important that everyone understand the importance of following social distancing measures and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
For this reason, owners might find themselves in the difficult situation of deciding what changes work best for their business and how they can face this situation in the most useful way. They should always be updated on the latest Government advice but even if these are known, it might be difficult to know exactly what to do and how.
And this is where Avery can help. See below our advice for re-opening your shop space to customers and how to help keep both them and staff safe on your business premises.
How to organise Spaces
In the five steps to working safely the UK government underlines the importance of a risk assessment as an initial step. Business owners have to start considering both customers and employees risks, how can they be avoided and which measure they are able to put in place. It is important to understand how effectively you can use your space and how it clearly has to show which measures you are implementing and why. Moreover, for all the shops with limited capacity it is essential to start thinking broadly and to consider using outdoor spaces for queuing or online orders shortcuts.
Social distancing is recognised as the best protection against the virus and any business should actively try to achieve it. This can be done easily using simple visual signs that makes people understand where to stand, where to go and reminding them which best actions to take.
The Avery COVID-19 Social Distancing range is available for this type of needs and can be used to organise effectively space for customers through floor stickers for social distancing queues. Available in different shapes and colours, they can adapt to the different spaces available and match with the message you want to communicate.
How to protect Employees
Talking directly to employees can represent an effective way to get their point of view on safety implementations. They might have better insights on which are the riskier tasks and how they would improve them. This might be also a good way to develop better employees’ relations in this time of uncertainty and show your commitment to the safety of all.
More than everyone employees should be aware of the different measures in place and it is important to follow new hygiene procedures and good practices. As an employer it might be difficult to constant remind the different regulations, so hand washing signs and label stickers can be an effective way of doing it.
How to safeguard customers
Owners should start by providing clear messages on which are the measures in place in the shop. The most important remains to practice social distancing and try to create a one way flow that makes possible for people not to get in contact with each other. As new approaches to shopping are explored, shops can try to find innovative way to promote and display products and think about collection points for unwanted touched things.
Hand sanitizer should be provided in different stations around the shops and for customers that feel more vulnerable it might be worth to provide tissues and gloves. It is important to point out these services very well and to make sure that they are always accompanied by waste facilities that are often changed and area's are cleaned regularly. Moreover, if the place could not provide a proper layout or it is not ventilated enough you can always advise to wear a face mask through specific signs.
Check out our range of COVID-19 removable posters that can help highlight these points clearly to customers and reassure them that you are doing all you can to protect them during their shopping experience
All these measures should be constantly reviewed in order to provide a better service for everyone. It is important that government regulations are made clear in every shop and signs can be used to communicate them to the public.
Shop owners should always seek both employees and customers’ opinion on how they are handling this situation and try to adapt together to a new way of living. Online services might be used for this purpose as well as a way to promote and encourage online shopping.
However we understand that this isn't always an option, and some customer prefer the traditional shopping experience of buying in store. In this instance we hope our COVID-19 Signs and Floor Decals can help reassure customers and help prevent the spread of Coronavirus in a retail environment.