by DisplayMax, Inc.
The new realities of retail are unfolding daily within every marketing channel as the country enters into the next phase of the Coronavirus crisis. With shutdowns being lifted and shoppers beginning to return, the critical issue facing retailers is whether customers will have the trust and confidence to safely enter their doors again.
“Many retailers have implemented temporary, stop-gap measures to open their businesses again,” says Charlie Domen, president of Displaymax Retail Services. “But are stores prepared to face the long term challenges of promoting social distancing and infection control when the next predicted wave of COVID-19 occurs? Will retailers have permanent measures in place that ease customer’s fears?”
Studies have shown that many customers have serious reservations about shopping again and will not experience a sense of “normal” for the foreseeable future. Due to the ongoing pandemic, shopper behavior has changed forever and the temporary safety measures that have been put into place will need to remain in place for some time.
“Retail store floor plans were not designed with a contagious health crisis in mind. That’s why our team identified three key areas where the sales floor can be transformed to help build a line of defense which promotes customer and employee safety,” explains Jennifer Crouch, Business Development Manager. “We developed a list of specific action areas that store operations can easily implement to make permanent upgrades to address the issues. We call these our Retail Renewal strategies.”
Retail Renewal is a collection of practical strategies that address these three critical aspects of operating in a Covid-19 world: Customer Flow, Checkout Areas, and Customer Safety.
- Customer Flow: Encourage social distancing by creating more space through realigning gondolas and displays, constructing half wall dividers, installing new directional signage and resetting category planograms.
- Checkout Areas: Improve safety and efficiency by installing new technology, adding queuing line fixtures, curbside pickup areas, refitting checkout counters and adding protective sneeze guards.
- Customer Safety: Install permanent measures with high quality hand sanitizer stands, adding shopping cart sanitizing stations, upgrading restroom doors to hands free openers and installing automatic restroom dispensers.
“Some of these areas may have been part of the initial response stores had to the pandemic,” Crouch explains. “But a more comprehensive approach is necessary for long term mitigation. Retailers who make customers feel most comfortable and safe are going to win this invisible war and the Retail Renewal program provides many of the solutions.”
At the core of Retail Renewal is executing upgrades at a single store location at one time. This alleviates the “piecemeal” approach that produces gaps within a store’s efforts to create a safer environment. “We provide all the products and installation services so retailers can implement the upgrades at once,” Crouch adds. “Our approach is a turnkey solution that includes the procurement, warehousing and distribution of all specified materials. We can also schedule multiple teams to install a package of new safety measures in stores for nationwide chains to a single store on Main Street.”
As many retailers struggle with implementing safety measures, the Retail Renewal approach gives them the resources they need to meet the next phase of the pandemic no matter how severe. Domen explains, “With our years of experience providing services to retailers, we understand that many stores need help executing these critical safety measures. Managers are so busy dealing with staffing issues and keeping products on the shelves that these can fall to the bottom of the to-do list. We want to help them make the upgrades and be prepared for the new realities they will face.”
DisplayMax Retail Services (displaymaxinc.com) has been providing in-store merchandising, installation and construction services to retailers nationwide since 1991. They also are authorized distributors of Lozier store fixtures and gondola shelving.