Retail in a post-pandemic world

1st June 2020

While this will be a huge step toward reestablishing the status quo; we can’t expect a hasty transition to normality. In Monday’s press conference, the Prime Minister firmly stated that shops must meet specific guidelines to protect staff and shoppers, before they can reopen next month.

It has been announced all that non-essential shops can reopen in England from 15 June.

Ahead of this statement from Number 10; retailers have used lockdown to strategise – configuring innovative plans to ensure that the appropriate measures are taken in providing a safe environment. But how will retail change in the coming months? What will it be like to shop in a post-pandemic United Kingdom?

Keeping a distance.

Social distancing remains the most effective method at preventing the spread of the infection; thus, people will be required to retain a 2m (approx. 6ft) separation whilst in stores. Appropriate signage will be utilised to enforce this; from floor vinyls used to distinguish the appropriate standing area when queuing – to interchangeable A-frames to limit the number of shoppers in each store at a time; preventing overcrowding.

The BRC has detailed that companies should assess the size of their store and its layout to calculate the number of customers who can enter and adhere to the two-metre distance. These measures have already been implemented by supermarket chains to great success – they will likely be applied to numerous other settings; including offices, classrooms and even medical labs.

Striving to ensure appropriate hygiene and sanitation – non-essential retail managers will task their staff with regulating one-way systems on the shop floor and restrictions on touching merchandise. Bookshops will set aside products previously browsed by customers; quarantining merchandise for 72 hours before putting it back on sale.

The road to recovery.

Footwear chains have announced their plans to follow suit; shoes that have been tried on will be set aside for 24 hours before another shopper is allowed to wear them. Fitting rooms that remain open will be cleaned thoroughly between each use – while contactless payment will be encouraged to limit contact between consumers and staff.

“Shops now have the time to implement this guidance before they reopen. This will ensure there can be no doubt about what steps they should take.”

  • Boris Johnson

Now we are attaining a firmer understanding of COVID-19; we’re able to adapt with efficiency. The retail sector is working with concepts derived from scientific studies; preventing the spread and enhancing the safety of the general public. While it’s important  for customers to stay alert – abiding by the instructions instated by each store; the incredible efforts taken by the workforce will enable us to keep the Coronavirus at bay.

Garden Square

We are immensely proud of the efforts made by our incredible tenants here at Garden Square. They have maintained an outstanding hygiene level during the COVID-19 pandemic; ensuring regular cleaning of touch points such as door handles and hard surfaces. Everyone who works here has been thoroughly briefed on the steps to take to best keep themselves and customers protected. This meticulous process will intensify in the coming weeks – we will work closely with our fantastic stores to guarantee that each shop cooperates with one another; providing the safest possible customer experience.

Updates will be provided within the coming days; detailing the further steps Garden Square will be taking in response to COVID-19.