As we venture back to stores and shopping centres, retailers are taking extra precautions to welcome shoppers safely. As a result, the shopping experience is going to be different from now on, including limited occupancy in the shops, closed fitting rooms and floor markings to direct foot traffic. Jean-Henri Beukes, managing director of Ecocleen, tells us more.
Whilst these measures are a great start in restoring shopper confidence, many consumers still feel unsafe visiting shopping centres. As a result, retailers need to balance consumer’s need for an easy shopping experience, with one that is completely safe and hygienic.
It’s never been more important for retailers and shopping centres to remain compliant in regards to hygiene and cleaning, in order to meet consumers heightened expectations in the post-lockdown world. From sanitisation and handwashing stations in-store to regular cleaning and disinfecting regimes, retailers are now responsible for limiting the transmission of Covid-19.
Cleaning best practices
The first step involves making sure that each shopping centre site or location is cleaned at the beginning and end of each day. Thorough cleaning procedures will also include frequently touched surfaces and objects such as escalator handrails, lift buttons and door handles, plus sanitary facilities and public seating areas.
A regimented cleaning protocol will help maintain a clean environment and shoppers will find comfort when they see cleaners frequently wiping down high traffic zones throughout the day. Shopping centres also need to consider installing hand sanitisation units, focussing on main contact points, to safeguard their shoppers and reduce the risk of transmission.
Provide training for staff
The global pandemic has created a new demand for shopping centres to invest in its staff and ensure that they fully understand the health and safety procedures. By providing extensive training, workers will be confident when implementing infection control processes and following the guidelines to ensure the shopping centre is a safe environment for everyone.
Not only does it guarantee safe trading in the shopping centre, but it also contributes to the staff’s safety and ensures they feel supported whilst they help retailers navigate the new normal.
Deploying the experts
Many shopping centres may choose to outsource its cleaning practices to a professional cleaning company, allowing them to focus on the shopping experience for their customers. These specialists will come equipped with years of experience and can offer high standards when it comes to health and safety.
External cleaning companies also have the ability to work around the retailers opening times, and throughout the day to reduce the risk of transmission. This means shopping centres will benefit from personalised cleaning services, that are tailored to specific pain points to make it as easy and convenient as possible.
Restoring shopper confidence
Reducing the risk of exposure to the coronavirus by cleaning is an important part of reopening shopping centres and requires careful attention from all retailers. Shoppers have been called upon to slow the spread of the virus through social distancing and mask-wearing, and it’s no different for retailers. Everyone has a role to play in making sure our public places are safe and remain open.
As a result, transparency is critical in the ‘new normal’ and shopping centres need to communicate their hygiene and safety efforts to help minimise the risk of coronavirus. Not only will these cleaning best practices protect workers, consumers and others from coronavirus, but it will also help restore shopper confidence in this unprecedented time.