Here are some tips for your consideration should your retail business be designated an essential business in the looming lockdown. We hope they are useful:

At some point, retailers around you will be shut down for a time. If you are designated essential, the move will see affected retailers possibly upset at your favoured treatment for the newsagency channel, upset at you that you are open.

Your focus needs to be on how to adjust your business to the changing conditions. That does not mean going all out to rake in as much cash as possible. Rather, our advice is that you modestly adjust the business to serve the needs of locals. Those shop permitted to remain open could serve broader needs through this time

Look around and plan now for modest moves you could make to broaden the appeal of the business. Our advice is that you focus on categories you are already in – but with an expanded range, or products that fit with categories you already serve today.

We think stores remaining open need to make significant shop floor moves, to reflect the needs of the tougher circumstances and to demonstrate your respect for these as well as the wellbeing of shoppers and your team.

  1. Change your shop to look different. You are moving from open and competitive retail to special circumstance retail, essential service retail – there is a big difference. Making your shop look fundamentally different is very important.
  2. Create more space for shoppers to move around safely. Consider policing at the door how many enter.
  3. If appropriate, consider and entrance and an exit.
  4. Move destination products to the front of the shop.
  5. Pitch popular products at the counter. 
  6. Reset the counter. De-clutter. Keep essentials there. Have a thoughtfully selected range of impulse items. but, again, do not clutter the counter.
  7. Cashless. We urge you to encourage customers to pay by a card.  Click here for advice on how to safely remove hand gloves.
  8. Staff safety. We urge you to provide staff with gloves and the request they are changed every hour and that the outside of the gloves are regularly hand sanitised.
  9. Make the counter safer. Consider installing a perspex counter to further protect.
  10. Hand sanitiser freely available.
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