Retailers step up on safe distancing and hygiene for reopening
Local retailers are gearing up for reopening on Friday with crowd control and social distancing measures, and enhanced hygiene practices are at the top of the to-do list.
Gain City will be deep cleaning all its showrooms.
Ultraviolet light strips have been installed on the air-conditioning units in its Sungei Kadut megastore "to kill germs" and sterilise the circulating air.
There will also be full body sterilising systems installed at the main entrance to ensure customers and staff are fully disinfected before entering.
One sales employee will be assigned to serve one customer or family at a time, to prevent customers from coming into close contact with one another.
Speaking to The New Paper yesterday, Gain City's managing director Kenny Teo told The New Paper: "We want to tackle the issue of consumer confidence (as they) return to brick and mortar stores."
Singapore Retailers Association executive director Rose Tong urged retailers to remain cautious and "accept that the immediate focus and new norm for retail henceforth will move from in-store engagement and customer experience to in-store cleanliness and how sales transactions will need to be made more seamless and expedient".
She said transaction times must be kept short and browsing for items should be done online or outside the store before customers enter.
In-store cleanliness will be a priority at Harvey Norman too.
Mr Kenneth Aruldoss, managing director of Harvey Norman, said regular disinfecting at its outlets will be carried out, with high-touch areas such as notebooks and mobile phone displays being disinfected more often - on top of the provision of hand sanitisers, optional use of disposal gloves and encouraging contactless payment.
He said: "Most of our stores are relatively big, allowing enough space for safe distancing among shoppers. However, our store staff have also been briefed to monitor in-store crowd level and help channel customer flow.
"We will stop admissions if no reasonable social distancing can be done in-store in a high-traffic situation."
Over at OG, all the teams at the department store chain are fully focused on preparations, including manpower planning for split teams and shifts.
A spokesman said: "We have already been cleaning the merchandise regularly, with staff returning to the premises based on time-limited exemption."
To prevent mould damage to its products, OG had humidity control in place in stores when they were closed during the circuit breaker.