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British Retail Consortium publishes guidance for re-opening stores
26 April 2020

The introduction of cleaning stations is among a number of measures published by the British Retail Consortium to support the re-opening of stores once coronavirus restrictions are eased.

With no clear date set on when the non-essential firms will be able to re-open, the retail lobby group says the industry needs to be prepared ahead of time and has drawn up guidelines on how stores can minimise risk once the lockdown is lifted.

The BRC has worked with the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (USDAW) to produce guidance on social distancing for non-food retail stores, drawing on Government advice as well as lessons learned from supermarkets in recent weeks.

The recommended measures include limiting entry and exit points, using floor markings to outline social distancing and keeping changing rooms closed.

The guidance also suggests installing cleaning stations with hand sanitiser and disinfectant wipes at the front of stores.

British Retail Consortium CEO Helen Dickinson said the guidance measures would serve to ensure the safety and wellbeing of both customers and staff.

“Since the lockdown, many retailers have proved how shops can be run safely and effectively in line with the Government’s social distancing advice,” she said.

“Continued close collaboration with Government, including public support for the steps retailers are taking and adequate notice to get supply chains up and running, will mean that retail businesses can start trading again slowly and safely, and customers can feel confident that they are safe to return to shops.”

The BRC recently warmed Government that retailers would need several weeks' notice to get up and running again after the lifting of restrictions, to enable them to implement new safety and hygiene measures. Any re-opening of non-essential retail is likely to be phased by retailers with stores in areas with the highest potential demand opened first. Other measures such as limited (or if helps extended) opening hours are likely. last week published a unique study of 2,000 fashion shoppers outlining whether they are buying shopping during lockdown and how their spending habits moving forward are likely to be impacted by the lockdown.

The COVID Consumer: How Fashion Shopping is Being Changed for Good, can be downloaded for FREE here.

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