Store safety measures are more important than ever as quarantine measures end, public restrictions ease, and people begin to return to a radically reshaped world. Now, retailers must focus on employee and customer safety after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Store safety measures are a critical concern of customers. In fact, 62% claim that they want social distancing measures in place while shopping. This is a new challenge for businesses that didn’t worry about store safety measures before the pandemic. But even well-prepared businesses need to draw up a new plan to ensure the safety of their customers and employees.

 

The importance of store safety measures

Many people are wary of returning to normal life too quickly. Not just shoppers, but employees too. Retailers need to show that they’re sensitive to these concerns by making health and store safety their top priority. If store safety measures aren’t efficient, retailers run the risk of their employees getting ill and creating staff shortages.

They also might lose the trust of their customers, who will seek a safer shopping experience elsewhere. Once this business/customer trust is broken, it’s hard to re-establish.

One of the baseline measures for improving store safety is by following the protocols or suggestions set forth by the government. These vary by country, so businesses will need to check the guidelines of their specific country to make sure that they’re in compliance. 

For instance, wearing a mask in shops is mandatory in Greece, and customers and retailers can be fined for non-compliance. France has a stringent list of cleaning protocols if an employee becomes infected. And the UK recommends that stores keep shoppers 2m apart. Once a business knows their country’s guidelines, they can draw up a plan of action.

 

Tools and strategies for safely reopening after COVID-19

Businesses looking for insights and tools to improve store safety measures can visit Work.com, which offers a variety of solutions, including:

  • A manual contact-tracing tool that respects privacy concerns

  • Solutions for establishing employee wellness checks

  • The Command Centre, where businesses can use shift-scheduling tools to cut out employee congestion

  • Customisable workflows and apps, so businesses can find the solution that’s right for them


 

The road to ensuring store safety begins by safeguarding employees, so businesses will need to have the appropriate PPE on hand. Unfortunately, the demand for PPE has often outstripped the available supply, so sourcing PPE is a potential concern. To help companies learn how to source the PPE they require, check out our trailmix on Trailhead.

 

How businesses can improve store safety measures after COVID-19

Track employee wellness

Set up temperature screenings and on-site testing to track employee wellness. Some organisations have installed new smart devices such as door handles that register high employee temperatures.
 

Set a high bar for cleanliness

This includes deep and thorough cleaning procedures carried out daily and the installation of hand sanitising points at the entrance of the store and near checkout counters. Businesses need to ensure that they’re well stocked with the appropriate cleaning products. They can also create cleaning checklists and protocols for the workforce to follow.
 

Limit the number of people allowed in the store

Companies should look up the social distancing guidelines and regulations in their area. Then, they can figure out the maximum number of people they can accommodate in-store at any one time. Lightning Scheduler helps businesses streamline appointments to increase store safety.
 

Rethink store layouts to accommodate social distancing

One of the best ways to minimise contact and improve store safety measures is to layout the shop in a way that encourages social distancing. Installing one-way systems for foot traffic, barriers near checkout areas, and signage that reinforces the importance of social distancing can help minimise risk and maximise trust.

 

Make some changes that will stick

When it comes to store safety measures, businesses can never be too careful. And while ensuring the immediate wellbeing of customers and the workforce is the primary objective, adopting safeguarding measures like advanced shift scheduling and increased contactless engagement can help prepare retailers for the future. By overcoming the challenges of today, retailers will be more resilient tomorrow.
 


Read more about how retailers can adapt to the challenges of the New Normal in our The New Retail Playbook.

To find additional resources and tools for safely reopening after COVID-19, stop by Work.com.