Practical tips to help get your Retail Outlet get back to business and keep going

By Hugo Tilmouth, Founder and CEO of CleanedUp

Retailers have been through a difficult and emotional few months. Emerging from lockdown is exciting but caution is required. You’ll need to keep a close eye on your bottom line, while also investing in measures to keep your staff and your customers safe.

For retail businesses the government has released official guidelines that cover eight key sections, ranging from social distancing rules to potential PPE requirements.

It’s worth saying that what follows is simply our advice on getting back to business the best you can.

Put up your assessment certificate
Once you’ve completed your covid-19 risk assessment display the government’s risk assessment certificate somewhere visible, to help put minds at ease.

Cleaning & disinfecting

Keeping your surfaces COVID-secure requires a team effort. Focus on the key surfaces that pose the most risk, such as till points, card machines, trolleys. Clean them ideally after ever use. A rota is vital for organising whose responsibility that is throughout the day. Then, create procedures encouraging cleanliness more generally.

Government guidelines advise that your ‘usual cleaning products’ will be sufficient.

Offer hand sanitising

Hand sanitisers are a quick and easy alternative to handwashing, and provide an unbeatable solution for minimising the spread, and protecting staff and customers.

It’s important that the sanitiser contains a WHO approved formula and is at least 60% alcohol-based. Dispensing stations, for example, near the front door make it clear that sanitiser is available.

Provide PPE

As we know face masks are required for customers. Talk to your staff about how they’re feeling, and make face masks available for them. Consider having plexiglass screens around checkout points where social distancing is difficult to maintain.

Enforce social distancing rules

To enforce social distancing measures:

  • Provide 1m or 2m markers that make it clear where your customers must stand (particularly around the bar, front desk and till)
  • Be mindful of the amount of staff working in one place
  • Consider introducing a limit on the number of customers allowed into your store at once.

If it’s difficult for staff to maintain social distancing during breaks, consider closing small communal areas, and staggering break times.

If you implement one-way systems or ban cash transactions, do all you can to make this as clear as possible, to avoid any confusion.

Manage the risk of transmission

When, or if, 1 or 2 metre distancing isn’t possible, you should do all you can to manage the risk of transmission. This means providing alternative and new ways of working that put the safety of your staff and customers first.

Is your bar area small and easily crowded? If so, definitely consider allowing only 1 person at a time to approach for an order.

If your premises aren’t big enough for the usual number of staff, create a fair rota that avoids overcrowding.

Consistently monitor employee health (and general circumstances)

Check in with your staff daily, and ask about their health and general circumstances. If a team member is unwell, or if someone in their household has symptoms, take immediate action and grant them sick leave.

Remember, when we overcome Covid-19, we’ll have done so together.

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