Harnessing the light: realising the benefits of UV-C in retail

Ben Tiffany, M&E Director at Sigma, shines a light on the use of UV-C lighting in retail, and discusses how brands can adapt stores to integrate the innovative technology and deliver a safer shopping experience in the new normal.

 There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the retail sector profoundly and, conceivably, permanently altered the way the industry serves customers. Shoppers’ priorities have also changed since the beginning of the crisis. While still primarily motivated by price and product quality, people are increasingly deciding where to shop based on factors like proximity, cleanliness and crowds.

In addition to the mandated requirements of enhanced cleaning strategies – face coverings and social distancing – companies are increasingly looking at the longer-term measures they can adopt to improve the shopping experience and inspire confidence.

Creating safer environments to inspire shopper confidence has become a necessary aspect of the retail model. The positive news is there are no shortage of emerging technologies to support brands in their goal to reassure the public it is once again safe to shop in-store.

UV-C Lighting

Widely hailed as a leading technology for the prevention of the spread of airborne and surface-based pathogens – with tests indicating it is able to inactivate SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes Covid-19), while also killing 99.9% of viruses and bacteria, including influenza and other seasonal coronaviruses – UV-C lighting is one innovation that is already having a profound impact.

Whether retrofitted into retail store fitting rooms – to increase consumer confidence, and create greater efficiencies through automated disinfection cycles – the installation of UV-C conveyor belt units in supermarkets, or disinfecting shopping trolleys, shelves and counters, there have already been some prominent examples of the positive deployment of UV-C lighting throughout the sector.

A trusted partner

While there are certainly opportunities to enhance buildings for the post-COVID landscape, delivering the transformational projects required to deploy advanced technologies of this nature can be complex. For retailer operating against a particularly challenging and fast evolving backdrop, and operating within tighter budgetary constraints, the intricacies can be even greater.

As retailers recognise the wider scope and demands of such transformational projects, working closely with an experienced single provider of end-to-end services – including a knowledgeable Mechanical & Electrical (M&E) team – can add significant value.

Transformation can be achieved to the highest standards of Health and Safety, and quality assurance, with all work NIC/EIC, ISO 18001, and Safe Contractor approved.

Working with a partner like Sigma, with over 20 years’ experience of transforming commercial space, retail brands can seamlessly enhance spaces, ensuring a smooth, professional and cost-effective resolution to renovation programmes across stores and entire estates. For more information, visit: www.sigmagrp.co.uk

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