With plenty of people seemingly wanting to flock back to these shops, what should you be doing and who can you turn to for assistance and guidance?
Local authorities have plenty of free resources and access to free guidance and advice. Kent County Council’s Business Support Service is offering free advice on opening and what you should be doing as a store currently allowed to open.
It is advisable that you have all the necessary signage in your store along with social distancing reminders and markers. You should also remind shoppers of the rules while they are shopping and look to enforce the rules whilst open to the public as necessary. You may also want to consider limiting the number of people in the shop at one time to ensure that the distancing measures can be observed. It is your responsibility as the shop owner to keep within the rules. The local authority and Government websites do provide guidelines and access to signage free of charge.
Depending on the nature of your business and the products you sell you should devise plans on how you will deal with customer interaction. High contact areas and products will need to be controlled to ensure that there can be no transfer of the virus. For example, removing perfume samples or alternatively you will have to ensure these are cleaned after every use.
There is no requirement to provide any PPE products or hand sanitizer but you should consider taking all the necessary precautions to ensure that there is no infection or transfer associated with your store. It is up to you to decide whether you enforce face coverings for example and you should make this clear to customers and those entering the store.
The opening of non essential retailers is a really positive step forward in easing lockdown and with careful planning and guidance, retailers should be able to balance providing great customer service with keeping the public (and themselves) safe.