During the shelter-in-place orders that were in place across the United States, many stores were forced to shut their doors. Stores that remained open during this time were required to meet stringent guidelines relating to cleaning, social distancing, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
These guidelines required businesses to make sure high-touch items are sanitized including carts, POS stations, and fuel pumps. Additionally, as non-essential closed stores reopen, there is an on-going need for enhanced cleaning procedures across all public spaces, including retailers.
Businesses have had to make many of these store safety updates rapidly. Maintaining social distancing and practicing disease control and prevention standards is helpful. Stores have developed new processes and adjusted existing procedures to ensure a safe customer and employee experience.
Store Safety Updates Following Coronavirus
Stores quickly implemented several critical changes to meet the safety and store sanitization standards expected by customers and regulators. This included social distancing updates, improved online and curbside assistance, and home delivery solutions.
In addition to helping find new ways for customers to purchase products, many store safety updates following COVID-19 are in response to store sanitization rules. To protect employees and shoppers, stores are:
- Sanitizing frequently-touched objects and surfaces
- Providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and safety supplies
- Observing how different store areas require modified sanitization levels
Why Store Sanitization Is Important
The latest CDC guidelines are meant to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus. Store safety and sanitization is an important step businesses can take to stop the spread of the virus and make sure their stores can stay open.
The health and well-being of customers is essential. By clearly engaging in store sanitization procedures, businesses can demonstrate their commitment to customer and employee safety.
How To Ensure Store Safety And Sanitization
Identifying the best store safety and sanitization methods can be a challenge, especially with limited resources and high levels of uncertainty. Here are four ways businesses can practice store sanitization.
Give customers the chance to help. By providing guests with methods to clean and disinfect items, you help customers take back control of their health. Make gloves and/or sanitizing wipes readily available.
In addition, associates should sanitize high-touch surfaces regularly. Since most in-store interaction takes place at store entrances and exits, make sure these areas are safe and sanitized.
Automatic or “no touch” doors provide a touch-free method of entering your facility – something that all guests will appreciate.
Shopping carts are the most frequently touched item in a store. Establishing a cart sanitization area and process to clean carts between uses will drive consumers to your store while reducing the spread of germs.
Remember: fewer surfaces to touch means fewer germs to spread! Make sure customers and associates have access to sanitizing wipes and gloves to stop viral spread, especially with shopping carts, baskets, POS stations, and fuel pumps.
Glove Dispensers And Touch-Free Store Updates
Gloves are recommended in many stores, yet not all customers have access to quality PPE. By providing glove dispensers at key locations throughout the store, you can help minimize the spread of germs and help customers shop safely.
Touch-free Mobile Payment
Help educate customers on the value of touch-free mobile payment and promote this method at checkout. If possible, provide information on the use of touch-free payment on digital channels, such as your website or store app.
Make gloves available at entrances, self-checkout kiosks, fuel pumps, POS stations, and other areas. Providing gloves throughout the store where customers and associates frequently touch objects will improve health and safety.
Increasing the number of self-check-outs helps reduce person-to-person shopping while improving convenience. Sanitizing wipes for cleaning self-serve kiosks between uses helps keep all surfaces clean.
Anything you can do to create a “contactless” experience will improve store safety and positively impact the customers’ experience. Not to mention keep your employees safe.
Cleaning Break Rooms and Restrooms
Provide protection and peace of mind for your associates by giving them easy ways to increase social distancing, yet also retaining routines and morale.
Offer your employees safe breaks with individual seating arrangements that promote social distancing.
Individual Break Spaces
Either use staggered scheduling or separate spaces. Give associates the opportunity to have individual break spaces and reduce person-to-person interactions.
Sanitization For Restrooms
Restroom sanitization is always important, now more than ever. The recent outbreak has made the need to practice best sanitization practices even more essential.
Follow EPA & FDA-Approved Cleaning Procedures
Ensure comprehensive cleaning of your facility on a regular basis with antimicrobial cleaning devices and products. Disinfect your locations and assets with EPA-certified deep decontamination cleaning through advanced or technology-enabled options.
Electrostatic Sprayers have a nozzle that induces a charge and atomizes the cleaning solution. When sprayed, the solution particles are attracted to the surface and uniformly coat it. The electrostatic sprayers use an air compressor for a quiet, powerful liquid flow that is released at a force stronger than gravity. This solution provides a fast and easy sanitizing solution that can treat up to 18,000 square feet within 1 hour.
Another effective cleaning technology for retailers is Antimicrobial Nanotechnology. Using this method, a device nozzle sprays in all directors to apply a durable, anti-microbial shield on surfaces that lasts 30 days. When virus microbes land on the atomized chemical “spikes” on the surface, they are killed instantly.
Sanitization Solutions For Safe Shopping
Both customers and associates are paying more attention to store cleaning and sanitization. Make sure you are doing all you can to keep surfaces clean. Your guests and associates will appreciate a commitment to the health and safety of all.
Additionally, ensure you clearly communicate all the improvements being made to your stores. Signage, website or app updates, and email communications that outline what is being done to keep consumers safe will ensure your cleaning & sanitization efforts don’t go unnoticed.
For more safety tips and peace of mind solutions, download the complete Biological Defense Preparedness Guide for associates and customers during COVID-19.