Trade figures including the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Usdaw have issued advice around the new social distancing guidelines allowing for shops to prepare for any easing of the lockdown. As the SME club campaigns to Save Our Shops (SOS) #saveourshops we are delighted to see that preparations are being made to allow the small and local retailers to trade again as they have had to remain closed while supermarkets and other large retailers benefited from a monopoly on all customers for over two months.
Helen Dickinson, the BRC's boss, said: "The safety and wellbeing of retail colleagues and customers remains the highest priority."
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said that "careful steps" will be needed when easing the lockdown.
The industry body and the union issued the advice to non-food retailers, closely based on what is already happening in many food stores.
Some of the BRC advice includes:
limiting the number of people in-store at any one time
encouraging customers to shop alone where possible
scheduling deliveries to avoid crowding
cleaning door handles, lift buttons and hand rails regularly
using floor markings to remind customers to maintain a distance of 2m
Shops that were deemed "non-essential" have been shut since the government since 23rd March when the govt put in restrictions to tackle the spread and lock down the country to minimise the impact of COVID-19.
Retails that were allowed to trade under lockdown include supermarkets, pharmacies, newsagents and post offices.
The general secretary for Usdaw, Paddy Lillis said that "Non-food retail should only start trading again when expert public health advice agrees.
"However, we need to be ready and we need to make sure that the proper preparations and measures are put in place."