Driving the Future of Retail | Continued Emphasis on Health and Safety

Hand sanitizer on checkout counter at store

The idea of retail consumption has been changing for a long time. This includes the way people shop and the manner in which companies sell products. However, the last couple of years have been full of incredibly fast-paced transitions as retailers adapt to new retail practices while trying to serve their customers and earn a profit.

COVID-19 and the lasting effects of the pandemic have prioritized health and safety in the retail industry. Cleanliness, sanitization, and the communication of those practices to customers is vital to business success.

With the country returning to greater capacity or even full capacity in some areas, showing patrons that you remain committed to their well-being can reaffirm their loyalty to your company. Having retail workplace safety protocols in place will also show that you value your employees’ wellbeing. Here are some ideas to keep the emphasis on positive retail health and safety best practices.

Create a Retail Health and Safety Checklist

Developing and implementing a health and safety plan for your operations can ensure consistency is being followed by everyone. We recommend you make this list into a checklist that can be marked off every day, shift, hour, etc. You may already have protocols, but with restrictions changing, now is the perfect time to update your list. It should include items that help prevent illness, but also protect employees and patrons from potential hazards. The checklist will be different for every business, however, here are a few items that could be included:

  • Masks – If you still choose to require or recommend masks, do your employees have them on or at least have access to clean masks?
  • Sanitizer – Are there a sufficient amount of hand sanitizing stations available, particularly in high-traffic areas?
  • Distance – Do you have signage or information that encourages everyone to continue the practice of social distancing?
  • Cleaning – Is there a regularly scheduled, thorough cleaning protocol in place, and have you stocked the proper supplies? Have your cleaning regiments been updated now that patrons are returning to stores more frequently?
  • Safety – Safety solutions should be drilled inside and outside of your location, especially if you made alterations when retail occupancies were halted or restricted.
    • Inside:
      • Keep entrances and exits clear.
      • Sweep, mop, and dry floors.
      • Secure all fixtures and fasten any dangerous items to their correct holding places.
      • Ensure proper interior lighting is functioning, including emergency lighting.
      • Have a first-aid kit on hand.
      • Publish a safety guide for employees.
    • Outside:
      • Remove debris, trash, and hazardous materials from parking and storefront areas.
      • Ensure proper exterior lighting is functioning.
      • Note that all traffic signage or markings are safely indicated.
      • Keep all security equipment updated and review effectiveness.

Consider Lasting Cosmetic and Digital Updates

The fact is that retail purchasing habits have changed once again, but consumers are confident in returning to in-person shopping. In fact, 73% of Americans said they currently feel safe going to department stores, while 71% said they feel safe shopping at local retail outlets. Still, the digital age of retail is here to stay, as over 2.14 billion people are expected to buy goods and services online this year, compared with 1.66 billion in 2016.

Modern businesses are shifting storefronts that were once massive displays into smaller, personalized offerings – and they are doing it with health and safety in mind.

Consider reimagining your presentations:

  • Visual merchandising – We don’t know what health effects the future holds, so transitioning to visual displays, and digital offerings that can be accessed through tools like QR codes helps prevent the spread of people touching products. It also means you can pivot to more direct ordering.
  • Permanent pickup options – Many consumers have made online transactions with curbside or in-store pickup a normal buying routine. Think long-term about how you want to design these stations to funnel customers and market to them with products they may see and purchase on an impulse when they arrive.
  • Evolving product lines – Consumers have always wanted the latest products, but the pandemic has heightened that desire. Determine ways that you can safely use your space to market ever-changing products with new display configurations.

Health and Safety Experts in Retail Logistics

With so many businesses updating their stores, retail logistics providers who offer installation, transportation, and management of fixtures has adapted. Retailers are partnering with experienced retail logistics companies who have navigated pandemic logistics, finding new ways to meet their client’s needs. Beltmann Integrated Logistics has been serving the retail industry for more than two decades with the logistics for new fixtures, locations, and more. We understand what it takes to meet updated demands and to keep customers and staff protected. Contact us or call 1-877-518-2863 today to talk with us about your ideas. We look forward to supporting your modern retail facility.


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