Retail store operators need to be particularly conscientious about safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. They’re responsible not only for the safety of their customers but also their employees. Here are some things that retail store owners and managers can do to help keep people safe.
Post Mask Requirements Conspicuously
The front door of a retail establishment should have signage telling people that they must wear a mask to enter the store. If the city or county where your store is located requires it by ordinance, your signage can reference the ordinance.
Create a System for Enforcing Your Mask Policy
Staff should be trained about how to respond when someone attempts to enter a store without a mask. Many news reports have shown disturbing confrontations between people who have entered a store without a mask and started nonsensical and sometimes dangerous altercations. Staff needs to address the person politely and attempt to de-escalate the situation if someone expresses any type of objection or appears unstable. As an added level of protection, you can use technology to regulate enforcement. Staff can use a camera to view customers before they come into the store, and you can install an electronic locking mechanism for staff to unlock the door with a push-button control when they see that a person is wearing a mask. Ideally, an automatic door opener can be installed in addition to an electronic strike control so that people won’t have to touch a door handle.
Install Protective Barriers at Counters
A plastic divider can help shield your staff from aerosol contaminants. Ideally a divider should cover the entire area between the employee behind the counter and the customer and not just a small section. You can order a custom made divider to fit your space. In addition to covering an appropriate width, a plastic sneeze guards should be several feet high.
Provide Sanitizing Wipes for Your Staff
Commonly touched areas can accumulate germs, so it’s helpful to equip your staff with sanitizing wipes that they can use to clean countertops and keypads. You should also provide antibacterial wipes and gels for staff to clean their hands regularly, and you might also consider giving them gloves that they can change frequently throughout the day.
Communicate with your staff and your customers about what you’re doing to keep them safe. They’ll feel assured knowing that you’re taking extra measures to provide for their safety.