How to Get Your Shop Ready Post Lockdown
15th June 2020
The global pandemic has affected everyone and, if your shop has had to close during lockdown, this is particularly true for you. The UK government, however, has announced that all non-essential shops will tentatively be allowed to open from 15 June 2020.
This is great news for many business owners, although it presents its own potential issues such as customer safety. Beyond this, shops will have to prepare for a ‘new normal’ as society will be forever changed to some extent.
If you are thinking about buying a shop, you will need to consider how your potential investment will be able to implement these measures before buying it.
Here we consider the ways that you can get your shop ready post lockdown.
In order to get an idea of what non-essential shops should do to get their businesses ready to open, you can look to what supermarkets and other shops that have remained open have done.
The number of customers allowed into shops will need to be limited so that social distancing rules can be adhered to, according to the government website. You will need to work out how many people can be in your shop while remaining 2m away from anyone else. You should then not let more customers in than this at a time.
Supermarkets have been creating a queuing system outside of their shops will markings that indicate 2m distances so that customers know to respect social distancing while queuing. This is what you should consider implementing outside your store if you are expecting more customers than are allow into the building at a time.
Social distancing will also apply to your employees. You will need to create a safe environment for those working for you where they are able to remain 2m away from other employees and customers. Where this is not possible, such as at tills, you will need to erect screens or barriers.
Making sure that your customers and employees are encouraged to wash and sanitise their hands. Installing a hand sanitising station at the entrance and exit of your shop will make sure that your customers sanitise their hands before entering. This will reduce the risk of transmitting infection while they are browsing in your shop.
You should also provide your employees with hand sanitisers, particularly in meeting rooms or other spaces where they may gather.
For both your employees and your customers, installing markings on the floor that indicate flow of traffic will help to keep social distancing rules. These should start at the entrance and then have a clear one-way direction through your floor space.
You will also need to consider how customers queue inside your business and see if changes need to be made so that social distancing rules can be followed.
Some shops, like Kurt Geiger and Waterstones, have said that they will take any products that have been handled by customers and put them aside for a predetermined number of days before putting them back on the shelves.
You could consider whether it will be feasible for your business to have the same measures in place.
Most importantly, you will need to keep your staff informed of any and all updates to safety information. You will also have to keep reassessing the measures that you have taken in order to be COVID-19 compliant. Make sure you see what is working and what isn’t so that you can make changes and updates to things like queuing systems and staff shift times.
We are not yet out of the woods and keeping on top of safety measures will be an important part of running a business for the foreseeable future.
Anthea Taylor, Content Producer at Dynamis and writes for all titles in the Dynamis stable including BusinessesForSale.com, FranchiseSales.com and PropertySales.com as well as other industry publications.