What is the True Cost of Non-Covid Compliance?

Many brands and retailers are reopening their brick & mortar stores and businesses. The promise of economic relief comes with a condition: those opening their doors must comply with a range of measures specified by national health organisations.

 

Many governments have clearly communicated guidelines, and in some cases legislated financial penalties for those businesses who are found to ignore these measures.

 

So how seriously are these measures being taken?

This is not the kind of question Google has an easy answer for.

 

With the amount of trade lost over the past few months, retailers must begin to recover that lost revenue. A visit to the shops shows that the threat of financial penalty for non-compliance with COVID measures has at least resulted in a bottle of hand sanitizer at the door.

 

Let’s take a moment to ask: Is this enough? Are we rushing to open and not taking the appropriate steps to ensure the safety of staff and customers?
Have we forgotten where the world was two months ago?

 

The truth is we simply can’t remain closed. Nor can risk another series of closures after a brief stint back in business. But more than this, we can’t risk our brand reputation (nor that of physical retail at large) by ignoring the safety of our customers.

 

The real risk and cost of non-compliance isn’t actually the penalties imposed, but rather the loss of reputation and trust, and bad press when a company hits the headlines for negligence during one of the worst economic moment’s in history.

 

As people, we must learn to live with this disease. As retail professionals, we must retail well while we are at it. It’s practically impossible to prevent 100% of customers from contracting Covid in stores, but we can and should take every step we can to limit that possibility.

 

If someone who visited your store is found to be COVD positive, can your business withstand the public microscope’s inspection into what you did and did not do? Large globals like Amazon are investing whatever they can into safety measures which transcend health official’s recommendations…and of course, into communicating that to the public.

 

They want their brand to be seen as a beacon of hope, morality and community awareness. While not every brand can afford this, there are a number of things everyone can do to ensure safety.

Here is a short checklist of what to consider:

1. Safe occupancy – do you know how many people can safely work and shop together in your store without infringing upon social distancing rules?

 

2. Does your store layout make the maintenance of social distances impossible? Do ‘high risk’ areas exist and need to be dealt with?

 

3. Do you have sanitization placed conveniently, at the door and also within the store?

 

4. Is your staff required to maintain sanitization regimes in high-traffic high-touch areas of your store, for e.g. change rooms?

 

5. Are you communicating the measures being taken, and the need for customers to co-operate with them?

 

6. Are visual communications in place? Entry banners or digital signage, ….

Our CovidSafe solutions are available to help you achieve compliance with safety regulations.

We are all relieved to be back in business.

Let us now make time, while it counts, for new strategies that keep the lights on while navigating these dark & stormy waters.