Many businesses are now putting together plans to restart after the lockdown is eased over the next few weeks. Nowhere is this planning as important than in the retail sector.

People are champing at the bit to get back into local stores and it’s key to make sure that everyone remains as safe as possible from the start.

  1. Exterior Signage

If you have been checking out ‘essential’ stores that have remained open during the pandemic, you’ll have seen that outdoor signage is pretty important. Most have a notice near the door such as asking people to wait until one person leaves before they enter or restricting shopping to one person and not groups.

Exterior signage was important for retail even before the Covid-19 crisis. Boards, for example, allow you to attract new customers passing by and help you stand out on the high street. Including a standard street board in your signage makes sure you won’t get a sudden rush of customers and end up putting people at risk.

  1. Directional Signage

For any retail outlet, guiding shoppers around the store is going to be important to help maintain distance and stop people from passing each other or getting bunched up in one particular area.

This usually involves putting signage on the ground such as distancing marks and arrows to show the direction of travel. Organising this so that everyone also ends up at the till so they can pay can be challenging but it’s still the best way to ensure people remain safe in the store.

  1. Instructional Signage

You might also want to include instructional signage. This will depend on what type of store you have.

If you own a clothes outlet, you are going to need to decide whether you will allow people to try on items and how this is going to be done safely. Instructions might include, for example, putting clothes that have been tried on in a special section where they can be disinfected or left for some time before being put back in the shop.

You may want to prevent people from handling goods if they are not going to buy them. You might want to have card payment only signs before people enter your store to avoid confusion or perhaps you have decided to set up sanitizing stations that you want to encourage shoppers to use.

  1. Disability Friendly Signage

Most retail businesses do a pretty good job when it comes to disability-friendly signage. There may be certain things that you want to check before you put in any new Covid-19 related signage. For example, how easy it is to read for those with sight problems and whether you need to include, for example, specific notices for those in wheelchairs to make their shopping experience easier.

  1. Promotional Signage

In addition to all this, of course, you don’t want to forget the promotional signage. With so many new notices around your store, you want to make sure that any sale items are easily identifiable.

You also need to think about placement. You might want to create one specific area for sales items, for example, and restrict the number of people that can access this at one time.

Signage can make a big difference to your retail store but it does take a good deal of thought as we head towards loosening the lockdown and trying to return to normal.

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