Stores reopening: how to shop safely? Two meters of spacing, quarantined products and a series of security and sanitation measures: this is how shopping changes with the reopening of the shops on May 18th
With some considerations on the impact that Covid-19 has and will have on the fashion industry, on 18 May the shutters will be pulled up only if the stores will follow certain rules aimed at protecting the consumer and those who work behind the counter. Buying and selling revolve around two absolute concepts: distancing and hygiene / sanitation.
Quotas and shopping by appointment
Let’s start with a few numbers: only one customer will enter the stores with sizes of less than 40 square meters, while the distance between people increases to two meters. Therefore, each store, based on the size of the premises, will have to calculate a maximum number of customers to guarantee the internal safety distance. In order to stagger access, it will be possible to extend the opening hours of the shops.
To do this, the Index group (which includes Bershka, Massimo Dutti, Pull & Bear, Oysho and Zara) has not only increased the number of security personnel to control the flow of people but has created ground distance indicators in places where gatherings are usually created, such as checkout areas and rehearsal lounges. As for i fitting rooms, the use will be alternated to ensure the minimum distance between people and the presence of the accompanying person is forbidden (you will have to do without the precious advice of mom, friend or boyfriend). The Capri Group, headed by Alcott and Gutteridge, also provided operators of the in anticipation of the reopening Termoscan technology, for further control of the temperature at the entrance.
Rinascente has instead drawn up a proactive protocol in collaboration with the Polytechnic of Turin for protect workers and customers ” The document incorporates all the indications of governmental and administrative measures. Added to this are signs and banners of reminds, arranged in the store, to observe the rules. A three-way path has been studied: entry for employees, entry for customers and exit, to facilitate and control the flow“- said Pierluigi Cocchini, CEO of Rinascente in Turin, and adds -“The lockdown brought attention to digital, after the sale on demand, in June we are ready to launch e-commerce“.
Small and medium sized shops that have more limited spaces at their disposal, have set up the shopping by appointment “The real factor is very important for our customers: jewels must be seen, touched, worn.“- commented Giorgio Bisi, Marketing Manager of Nove25 -“For those who want to skip the line, we have a dedicated agenda divided into 30-minute slots“.
Not only that, there are those who look to the technology as one of the fundamental means to facilitate customers and respond to the crisis. “For the reopening we are scrupulously following the protocols and regulations of the Government and the Lombardy Region ( editor’s note, each region has some nuances based on the situation recorded ) to protect our employees and customers. We are also developing a dedicated app for making appointments in boutiques, in order to facilitate the shopping experience as much as possible “- said Carla Creda Biffi, Head of Buying of the Biffi Boutiques group (Biffi Boutiques Milano, Banner Milano and Biffi Boutiques Bergamo) and adds with sweet amazement the desire for rebirth and beauty of some customers who have also done shopping during the quarantine period, using the digital platform – “Online sales on our e-commerce biffi.com are going well, we have noticed an initial increase in luxury leisurewear and we are registering a good movement of very beautiful and special spring and summer RTW garments and accessories, so we think there is still the desire to novelty and freshness “.
Obligatory and free sanitizing masks
All those who work in the shop, beyond the role they play, must wear masks, while disposable gloves are recommended but not mandatory. In many stores, alcohol-based disinfectants can be used free of charge, placed here and there in the shops to ensure maximum hygiene. All the keyboards (PC, speaker or POS) and all the touch screens must also be cleaned with detergents or special foam.
Quarantined and sanitized products
The Protocol on the contrast to Covid-19 with reference to the rules on hygiene and safety of the environments, provides that the shop ensures daily cleaning and periodic sanitization of the premises, environments, workstations. The law does not provide for the sanitization of products, but the most prudent and attentive to workers and consumers retailers will implement a studied plan that provides for a at least 24 hours quarantine and / or late temperature steam sanitization in dedicated areas: once a garment or accessory is worn, it will not be directly exposed. “The product will be supplied at the counter, supported, which allows you to respect the distance and limit contact. As far as footwear is concerned, we will supply disposable socks“- said Domenico Romano, Head of Marketing AW Lab -” Once the product is tried, if it is not purchased, it will be quarantined for three days. In the case of immediate availability, we provide specific sanitization with alcoholic product and cloth and with hot steam emission machine, a system that is available in every store“.
Garments cut with fabrics will certainly be exempt from these sanitization processes ViroFormula by Albini Group with HeiQ Viroblock technology that protects against viruses and bacteria, with proven efficacy against Coronavirus. “In the critical and uncertain period in which we find ourselves today, we decided not to stop: on the contrary, we continued to work on new solutions and products, always ready to face new challenges.”- explains Stefano Albini, President of Albini. “In this context, we have developed ViroFormula fabrics, which provide active protection from viruses and bacteria. “
More aware consumer
Between information shared with brands and standards that will come into effect next Monday, frenetic and crowded shopping is now an old story. Already the traditional pre Coronavirus retail was changing appearance, overwhelmed by the digital Copernican revolution, with an interest in the fluid, effective and cross-channel customer experience. Selling a product was an integral part of an on / offline experience. Today, the perspective is quite different, especially if you think of the physical store and its more social aspect.
The shopping will require more awareness, not only as regards the choice of the product purchased, but also in acting: respecting the distance, the times and the queue or the order in the store, will be a precious gesture of respect and care for others and for themselves.