As the holiday season draws closer and big sale peeks such as Black Friday and Christmas loom large, retail facilities management is facing new challenges like nothing they have ever seen before. With concerns over the continued spread of COVID-19 and the focus on social distancing, enhanced sanitation practices, and general demand for public health and safety, the holidays will prove challenging more than ever. Thankfully, there are some quick and easy things retail facilities management teams can do to prepare for the peak shopping season and maximize facility resources.
Leverage Curbside Service and Delivery Options
One of the biggest changes to retail spaces and retail facilities management in the wake of the global pandemic has been the shift to curbside and delivery service options. From food to household goods to electronics and more, many of the items which are purchased in-store can now become conveniently accessible while following CDC guidelines for health and safety. Retail facilities management can best prepare for the holiday rush by utilizing these curbside and delivery options, especially since they are the preferred method for most customers today. It’s all part of digital evolution in the industry. As explained by McKinsey & Company, “Retailers must become technology-driven organizations, and that will require upending the status quo. In the end, transforming mind-sets, capabilities, and ways of working is critical not only in established IT areas like application development and infrastructure but in core commercial divisions like sales, merchandising, supply chain, and marketing.” Unlocking the value of new systems is key to managing the peak in this age of disruption.
Encourage Mobile Ordering and Ship to Home Services
Along the same lines of curbside and delivery options for local companies is a step retail facilities management that warehouse facilities can take advantage from. Rather than shipping items to local stores only to have them delayed, shipping can occur from the warehouse inventory direct to the customer. Doing so lowers foot traffic in the stores during peak times and can make it easier to implement social distancing and other safety guidelines. Retail facilities management needs to focus on customers who have to come into the store during these times.
Consider Additional Signage to Help Customer Flow Inside
One part of COVID-19 response, has become a familiar sight in many retail facilities, is the additional signage like what can be found throughout the store. From signs reminding customers about masks, new signs in the restrooms for washing techniques, to markers on the floors to enforce social distancing, there are many ways retail facilities management can utilize signage. Many local ordinances require retailers to have these sorts of displays in place. Therefore, making the most of them and using them effectively is key during these times of worry and uneasiness.
Ensure the Ventilation System Is Functioning Properly
When retail facilities management has done what they can and the crowds are still going to be large during the peak season within the stores, the best way to maintain a safe space is to stay on top of cleaning and sanitation. Keeping the ventilation system clean and functioning properly will ensure pathogens and pollutants are properly filtered from the air. And keeping up with a good cleaning schedule will ensure COVID concerns are kept to a minimum. When crowds cannot be helped, all anyone can do is keep the environment clean while its’ occupied.
Enhance Retail Facilities Management Through the Unusual Peak Shopping Season With the Right Partner
Retail facilities management can make things easier during peak shopping seasons by implanting these tips as they prepare for the holiday rush. Visit Cushman & Wakefield’s Facilities Solutions online today to learn how to get started.