As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to make its mark on countries around the world, many industries have been forced to adopt new policies to keep their clients safe while performing their daily tasks.
In the retail space, this means that stores have had to enforce new policies to help customers form new shopping habits that will not contribute to the spread of the virus.
While the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has laid out guidelines for consumers who need to run essential errands such as grocery shopping, it is the responsibility of stores to ensure that their shoppers are safe while they shop.
As such, many stores have implemented several new measures to make shopping during the pandemic as safe as possible.
Enforcing Prescribed Health and Safety Measures
To combat the spread of the coronavirus, stores have taken to enforcing some of the most important guidelines laid down by the CDC for grocery and food retail workers as well as customers.
These include using hand sanitizer when entering and leaving stores; enforcing a look don’t touch policy for food items; requiring the wearing of masks by both staff and shoppers in enclosed areas; and enforcing safe shopping distances of six feet between shoppers, especially in stationary checkout queues.
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Fewer Shoppers Allowed in Stores
One of the first changes that were made to accommodate the new health and safety measures put in place by the CDC was the limiting of the number of customers allowed in stores at any given time.
While this has a major effect on the bottom line of retail outlets, that can easily be measured through the use of Little’s Law, enforcing new maximum occupation limits is an essential step in ensuring that the minimum social distancing measures are being met.
Installing Physical Barriers
The coronavirus pandemic has forced many businesses to reevaluate how to display food and other items. Following the release of research that confirmed that the virus can survive on surfaces for up to 28 days, many stores have been forced to install physical barriers at counters that typically did not need such measures.
The use of barriers such as sneezeguards at grocery stores is becoming more common as these types of barriers can help prevent the spread of airborne illnesses as well as prevent the contamination of food and other goods.
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Online Ordering and Curbside Pickups
One of the best ways to prevent being infected with the coronavirus is by limiting the amount of human contact a person gets. So, in a bid to protect their customers and still keep their businesses running, many stores have opted to give their customers the choice to order their groceries online and have them delivered or made available for curbside pickups.
The online shopping industry was already booming before the coronavirus pandemic. Thanks to the enforcement of social distancing measures, this option is now appealing to even more shoppers than ever before. As more major retailers enter the digital space, shopping online will get even easier.
The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way many people go about their daily lives. Stores that can show their customers that they care about their wellbeing by implementing some of the safety measures to prevent the spread of the virus will have a better chance of survival than those that do not.