COVID-19 has changed our entire world in the blink of an eye, especially for retail businesses. Depending on your state, non-essential businesses have probably been closed for a few weeks or even months. Most states are beginning to reopen their economies, and that includes retail businesses- with some adjustments to the way they run, of course. Retail businesses and restaurants will have to make some changes in the way that they serve customers in order to keep people safe and healthy. This could include changing layout, occupancy limits, and possibly requiring customers and employees to wear protective equipment. Here are a few easy ways to prepare your retail space for the “new normal” that’s happening post-quarantine.
Add Guides For Social Distancing
Adding some stickers on the floor to encourage your customers to adhere to social distancing guidelines couldn’t be easier. You can order stickers online that say things such as “Please stand 6 feet apart” or “Thank you for practicing social distancing: Stand here.” Place the stickers on the floor in your checkout area or other places where lines form, making sure that they’re 6 feet apart. You may want to order extra stickers, as the graphics may wear off with people standing on them all day. If the aisles in your retail space are narrow, consider also putting down “One Way” stickers so that people aren’t trying to squeeze past each other.
Be Clear About Mask Requirements
Requiring customers to wear masks or not is up to you, but either way, expectations and requirements need to be clearly communicated to customers. No one wants to get to the store and realize that they won’t be let in because they don’t have a mask. Post the expectations regarding masks on your doors and on your social media, and consider sending out an email to your customers as well so that everyone knows what they need to bring. Keeping a box of disposable masks near the door is also a good idea, so that if someone forgets their mask and either wants to wear one or is required to, they can take a disposable mask instead of having to leave the store.
Step Up The Cleaning
It’s always important to keep your store clean and sanitary, but it’s even more important right now. Your customers need to see the efforts you’re taking to keep them safe. Don’t just clean your carts after each customer, put up a sign by the clean carts assuring customers that those carts are being cleaned on a regular basis. Make sure you have hand sanitizer available for customers and employees in several locations, as well as disinfecting wipes. Be sure to disinfect self-checkout stations between each customer as well.
Protect Your Employees
Protecting your employees goes beyond requiring them to wear masks and/or gloves. Does your store have a checkout area where customers come face to face with cashiers, rather than just a self-checkout area? If so, consider installing Plexiglass barriers between cashiers and customers. This will reduce the risk of disease transmission from customers to employees and vice versa. Along the lines of protecting employees, now is a great time to add some leniency to your sick leave policy. The last thing you want is for one of your employees to come in while they’re sick. Let them know that if they have a cough, any sign of fever, or the other symptoms of coronavirus, they should stay home.
Looking For The Perfect Retail Space?
Contact us for help finding the perfect retail space for lease or purchase! Schwarz Properties specializes in commercial and residential property management in Virginia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. We lead the market for industrial and warehouse spaces for lease and our portfolio also includes retail space, restaurant space, residential, office space, and many more. Please contact Schwarz Properties at 336-895-1336 or visit our website.