How to Open a Retail Store During COVID-19 (And After)

Angela Barlow

10.05.2020

We are in tumultuous times indeed. In mid-March, offices switched to working remotely, the entire sports industry was placed into a stand-still, and businesses closed their doors for the time being. All in an effort to flatten the COVID-19 curve. Today, some companies are slowly opening their offices to employees with mask requirements and social distancing initiatives. Many sports are back in full swing (sans the crowds). 

Consumer-facing businesses are also opening their doors once more. With so many different customers coming in and out of a retail store, how can these businesses ensure they are safe? Today we’re breaking down a checklist that retail stores should follow when opening up their retail store (whether for the first time or post-shutdown). Some of these steps should even be followed long after COVID-19, as safety and disinfection will continue to be a priority from here on out. 

Here are nine steps to ensure your retail store opens up safely. 

Speak With Your Employees About Your Plans to Open

First and foremost, your employees need to be in on the reopening plans. Transparency is critical during the early stages of this process. Your employees will likely have questions about opening during COVID, and by allowing them to ask questions and bring up any concerns, you can come up with a better plan together. 

Disinfect the Entire Space

Bringing in a professional cleaning team to disinfect your store should be strongly considered before officially reopening. Not only does this help get rid of any viruses or germs that may be present, but your employees will also appreciate you going above and beyond to ensure that the space is clean and safe for them. 

Invest in Disinfectants at Point of Sale

With people returning to the store and making purchases, businesses must take the proper precautions to create a safe point of sale system for employees and customers. At ENS, we offer a portfolio of  UV-Clean Solutions, each intended to keep your customers and employees safe. Today, UV-C light can eradicate 99.9% of harmful pathogens as is being used to fight the COVID-19 strain across the world. You can bring that type of firepower to your retail store by choosing to implement our solutions at your point of sale system today. 

To learn more about our UV-Clean Solutions, reach out to us today

Figure Out Best Safe Store Capacity

Opening up your doors will require following capacity and social distancing guidelines. Whether it’s reducing store hours or adding additional check out options, make sure to follow your community’s local guidelines.

Require Face Coverings

Provide appropriate face covering for employees, whether masks or shields, and make sure they are cleaned regularly.  After all, even the coveted N-95 masks have a “limited” reuse ability. 

Utilize Signage to Remind Customers to Social Distance

Signs are a great way to remind customers of social distancing measures. Signs at the entrance are recommended, as well as using mats or circles on the ground near check-out areas to make sure that customers keep their distance throughout the store. Find a cheap pack of social distance circles on Amazon

Offer Curbside Delivery Option

Curbside delivery saw massive growth several months into the pandemic (208%), and this is expected to be a preferred solution for many customers well into the future. Continuing to provide safe and convenient options for your customers will be a win-win. 

Implement One-Way Traffic

One-way traffic is a smart solution if you really want to ensure social distancing measures are followed in your retail store. Depending on the size and layout of your retail store, it may or may not be possible. If you have multiple entrances, you can designate one of them for entry and the other for exiting. This ensures that customers are not running into one another or getting too close as they enter/exit your store. 

Provide Hand-Sanitizer For Entrances/Exits

In addition to keeping your entrances and exits separate, both areas of your retail store should have hand sanitizer available for customers to use as they enter and leave. Doing so will help keep your retail store safe and show your customers that you truly care about their well-being.

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