It has always been important for retail premises to maintain good hygiene, but since the outbreak of COVID-19, it has become even more crucial. Creating the right retail environment will not only protect your customers and employees from COVID-19, but it can also help to increase the amount of time shoppers spend in your store, generate loyalty within your brand and encourage customers to return on a regular basis. This is more important than ever as many businesses are struggling to survive the aftermath of the pandemic.
After months of being closed, retail stores around the UK were finally allowed to re-open their doors on the 15th June 2020 as long as their premises were COVID-19 secure. But, how do you keep your retail business COVID-19 secure? Keep reading below to find out what steps you can take.
Concentrate on Hygiene
When it comes to slowing the spread of COVID-19, good-hygiene is extremely important. Retail stores will need to increase how often they clean their premises and encourage their employees and customers to follow hygiene advice in order to make sure they remain COVID-19 secure.
The latest government advice is to encourage your employees and your customers to wash their hands on a regular basis. Evidence has shown that good hand-hygiene can reduce the spread of COVID-19, so hand-washing is extremely important.
If you’re lucky enough to have washroom facilities in your store, then you should encourage your customers and employees to use them. In order to provide your customers with a safe and pleasant experience, you will need to make sure that these facilities are cleaned on a regular basis. Customers have always expected a degree of cleanliness when it comes to public restrooms, but this has only increased over the last few months thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you have a washroom in your retail premises, then here are some of our top tips for keeping them COVID-19 secure:
- Ramp up the hygiene – it’s important to regularly clean the washroom with disinfectant.
- Encourage frequent hand washing – print out local authority posters which remind customers and staff to wash their hands on a regular basis
- Monitor the number of people using the washroom facilities – remember, in order to slow the spread of COVID-19, your customers will need to stay at a safe distance from one another.
- Purchase HEPA filtered hand dryers – These dryers not only help to dry your customers’ hands, but they also capture and destroy viruses in the surrounding air. The hand dryers from Blow Motion come complete with a HEPA filter, which kills up to 99.99% of bacteria. They also include UV-C technology, which helps to destroy the COVID-19 virus. So, if you want to provide your customers with the highest standards of hygiene, then installing these hand dryers is a brilliant idea.
Of course, not all stores have handwashing facilities. If this is the case for your business, then you should introduce hand sanitising stations instead.
Monitor the Number of Customers in Your Store
You will need to put measures in place to make sure that there aren’t too many customers in your store at any one time. All businesses need to make sure that customers are able to maintain a safe social distance from others in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19. One way you can do this is by introducing a one person out, one person in policy.
Know the Advice
In order to keep your business COVID-19 secure, you need stay up to date with the latest advice and recommendations. You will also need to relay this information to your employees and customers. Let them know the measures you’re putting in place and if there are any limitations or reductions in the service you’re offering.
Encourage Employees to Stay at Home if They’re Unwell
If any of your employees are showing any signs or symptoms of COVID-19, then it’s important they stay at home. You should also consider asking any vulnerable employees to stay at home too. Vulnerable employees are much more likely to become seriously unwell or even die from COVID-19, so keeping them safe is crucial. Retail premises may need to update their sick-leave policies.
Maintain Good Airflow
Evidence has shown that COVID-19 spreads more easily in poorly ventilated spaces. Improving the ventilation of your retail premises can help keep your employees and your customers healthy. Businesses should open windows, doors and vents to allow fresh air to enter the building.
Rearrange Your Store’s Layout
In order to stop clusters of people from gathering in your store and to promote social distancing, it might be a good idea to re-think the layout of your store. Think about creating a one-way system or a loop layout to stop this from occurring.
Encourage No-Contact Payments
Retail stores should consider installing no-contact payment devices. These devices are easy to use and much more hygienic than traditional payment methods.
In order to protect your employees and customers, you could consider introducing protective barriers at your tills. These barriers act as a layer of protection to stop the spread of the disease.
Perspex screens and tape have become a familiar sight in stores around the UK, but these aren’t the only things you can do to ensure your premises are COVID-19 secure. Follow some of our top tips above, and you’ll be well on your way to reducing the spread of the virus and protecting your customers and staff.