With the advent of the coronavirus outbreak, several debates about the steps that should be taken and the recommendations to prevent the spread of the virus have taken place. Edmar Bulla, CEO of Grupo Croma, made a list of 20 recommendations to help retailers during these hard times.
“We are living under the threat of COVID-19, which has changed our habits and has placed us in an unknown world in which fake information causes fear. People’s natural instinct is survival, which, in this case, means running to supermarkets to fill cupboards for the quarantine”, explains Bulla, and he adds that people were never told that there would be food shortages. “Photos of empty shelves and crowded supermarkets are alarmingly filling the Internet and people’s imaginations. And when someone publishes an image like that, it does great harm to society”, he adds.
Until this moment of contingency ends, consumption will continue to increase exponentially. According to him, this moment is atypical, especially regarding the sale of non-perishable products.
This behavior creates a chain of imbalance that affects everyone, from producers to points of sale. And in order for gondolas to work, a great number of stockers, drivers, loaders, warehouse staff, and promoters also take risks to be there.
Due to all these factors, we are sharing a list of recommendations that retailers should take into account:
- Strengthen partnerships and alliances between the industry, retailers, and the government.
- Value and preserve relationships throughout the production chain.
- Create an investment fund that supports a shared innovation lab for retail businesses.
- Clearly inform consumers that shelves may be empty not due to a shortage of products, but due to restocking intervals.
- Make restocking hours more flexible: retailers must add alternative hours to receive and restock products. For example, before opening or after closing the store.
- Redesign alternative geographic routes to reduce the number of trips.
- Isolate return areas during business hours.
- Provide complete protective equipment for store personnel.
- Constantly monitor the health conditions of employees.
- Provide comfortable areas for relaxation or rest, properly prepared and disinfected.
- Be flexible so that cashiers can also work as stockers and vice versa.
- Create a shared group of stockers and cashiers to decrease the flow and number of workers in the store, avoid downtime and optimize the operation with maximum efficiency, alternating operations and implementing alternative restocking routines.
- Prevent workers over 50 years of age or from risk groups from going to the point of sale.
- Promote job rotation to keep jobs, assigning different tasks to professionals.
- Innovate in the recruitment of stockers through apps or websites, in case of emergency.
- Create passenger transportation solutions that meet the appropriate sanitary standards to transport people from their homes to the stores.
- Cover individual transportation expenses or reimburse gasoline costs, if necessary.
- Develop and offer online courses to improve customer service.
- Recruit only employees that do not belong to risk groups.
- Appreciate the importance of these professionals and ensure that they are treated with gratitude, dignity and attention.
The aim of these recommendations is to take care of the store staff, whose work is essential these days. Many companies have already taken action by taking some of these precautions. It is essential that your company can act quickly to avoid contagion and defeat this pandemic.
If you have not implemented these protection measures yet, Pusher-POP/POS-Tuning can help you with safety features for cashiers, stockers and consumers.
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Protection for cashiers:
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Floor graphics for lines to help customers maintain distance:
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