Updating Operating procedures in response to the pandemic
As America cautiously opens back up, many retailers are rethinking the core customer experience in their stores. They are going to great lengths to assure that not only are they complying with state and federal regulations, but also that their customers feel safe and secure when visiting. Consumers have stated that cleanliness is one of the most important factors in returning to “normal” pre-COVID shopping habits.
So what exactly are retailers doing in response? How are they modifying their operations? Here are twelve important ones.
Stores are putting up dividers between cashiers and customers whenever possible.
Hand sanitizing stations throughout the store
A heavy emphasis on hand-cleanliness means dispensers are getting put up at record pace.
Stores are demarcating appropriate waiting points, and generally emphasizing keeping at least six feet apart.
Disinfecting all surfaces
Federal guidelines say to disinfect all high-traffic area surfaces on a regular schedule using a disinfectant product specifically EPA-approved against the SARS COV2 coronavirus.
Many retailers are switching to touchless faucets in bathrooms, and also using totally touchless hand soap dispensers, some of which are specifically designed to accept concentrated hand soap pacs.
Masks are being required for both employees and customers.
Whenever possible, stores are encouraging pickup outside the store with employees walking out.
New layouts (directional procedures)
Stores are making aisles “one way” and using other types of foot traffic flow adjustments.
Making gloves available
In some settings, stores are requiring gloves for employees who had not traditionally required them.
A more obvious update, but many establishments are limiting official capacity to, say, 50% or less.
Dedicated cleaning personnel for specific tasks
Many retail stores are tasking employees with specific cleaning tasks, such as disinfecting carts or shopping baskets throughout the day.
Limiting hours of operation
Many stores have taken to shorter windows of operation, often to allow more time for disinfecting the premises at the beginning and end of each day.
The bottom line: consumers care deeply about cleanliness during their shopping experience. These are just twelve changes, and we are sure there will be more coming in the near future. But for now, retailers have a tremendous opportunity to get ahead of the curve in terms of cleaning practices.
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