Three Phases for Reopening Your Store

As safer at home orders are being lifted and business are being allowed to reopen, you are probably wondering how to reopen your store. National Retail Foundation has provided a three-phase opening plan to help your store reopen and keep you staff and customers safe.

Phase 1 – Allow E-Commerce, Contactless Curbside Pickup, and In-Home Delivery

Many college stores have been operating in phase one for a few months. This has helped you start or boost your e-commerce presence and hopefully your store will keep up on e-commerce even after you are fully reopened. If you haven’t opened for e-commerce orders, consider doing so. Let your customers know they can buy from their campus store and offer promotions to increase traffic if your store is able. Make sure you are promoting your online store on social media. With your customer being stuck at home, they are most likely spending a good amount of their day on social media.

Phase 2 – Reopen Stores to the Public, with Social Distancing Protocols and Reduced Occupancy

During phase two, retailers can reopen with precautions such as social distancing and frequent sanitation. Here are some precautions to take.

  • Ensure employees are at least 6 feet apart when possible
  • Space your cash registers 6 feet apart so customers and employees aren’t too close
  • Ask employees to take breaks separately so they don’t congregate in one area
  • Discourage employees from sharing phones, workstations, or other equipment and have employees sanitize the equipment when finished
  • Limit the number of customers in your store to 25% capacity
  • Place social distancing floor decals at the registers to keep checkout lines spaced out
  • Have an employee dedicated to sanitizing the store to keep clean
  • Make sure high-touched areas are sanitized frequently
  • Provide sanitation supplies to employees and customers
  • Require workers to wear face coverings
  • Encourage customers to wear face coverings
  • Require employees who show signs of illness not to report to work

Phase 3 – Establish Protection, The Lift All Restrictions

It is best to follow CDC guidelines and state health departments before moving on to phase 3. During this phase, retailers can use their discretion to remove COVID-related operational protocol but keep sanitation and screening protocols in place. Here are recommended protocols.

  • Provide sanitation supplies to employees and customers
  • Frequently sanitize highly touched areas
  • Clean and disinfect common areas such as break rooms and gathering spaces
  • Require employees to frequently wash/sanitize their hands
  • Ask sick employees who become ill at work to go home
  • Ask employees to stay home if they are not feeling well

If you have started reopening your store, please share your experience and tips in the comments.

Source: National Retail Foundation

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