It’s now believed that we have come through the worst of the coronavirus pandemic and so, with the lifting of lockdown restrictions beginning, the next few months are set to be incredibly important for the British high street.
As retailers, you are likely to be reopening your shop within a matter of weeks. So, what’s next for this phased recovery and what will you need to do to ensure you stay safe from further cases? Let’s take a look at the possible steps.
Over the weekend the government announced that, “contingent on progress in the fight against coronavirus”, all non-essential shops in England will be able to reopen from June 15th 2020.
Boris Johnson said this will give stores of all sizes – like yourselves selling costume jewellery and gifts – time to implement new guidance before welcoming back members of the public.
What to do?
After many months of waiting and wondering, it’s likely to be nerve-racking as you face the prospect of opening your doors again. This is especially the case knowing that coronavirus hasn’t truly been vanquished, only lessened in abundance.
Nevertheless, it’s vital to have a proper plan in place in order to get back to trading, or you could risk a slapdash approach that is neither safe nor sensible from a business point of view.
You might want to take your first steps by getting in touch with your local authority, or Business Improvement District manager. They will have a range of resources to help you, including business strategies and even funding you might not have considered.
For example, there is the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF), as well as the Local Authority Discretionary Fund, all of which may be helpful.
Keeping the virus at bay in retail settings
Retailers across the country have also been working on their individual plans to reduce the chances of coronavirus transmission when they do reopen. If they can show they have followed government guidance, they will be able to display ‘Covid-19 secure’ badges to reassure customers, something that should lead to improved (although socially-distanced) footfall.
This might include keeping stock like bracelets in display cases rather than out where they can be touched, and quarantining any items that have been tried on.
Barriers and signage to explain social distancing (which will still be necessary) and one-way systems are likely to be helpful, as will cleaning stations, cashless purchasing and Perspex panels to protect staff at checkout points.
These continue to be tough times and it is hard to know exactly what to do for the best, but remember that we’re all in the same boat.
You might even want to tell us your reopening plan so we can share it in our next weekly newsletter and use it to help others. Until next time, stay safe and all the best from us here at Majique.