Retail jewellers all over the country are experiencing the coronavirus pandemic differently. Some stores have managed to keep some operations going whilst others with no online business, not so much. But regardless of what position you are in, preparing for your store’s reopening should be done sooner rather than later so we’ve created a quick checklist of things to consider.
Confirm with the authorities
The timing and manner of reopening of each retail jeweller will vary, as will opinions, each business must make its own decisions based on the local knowledge and government advice.
- Check on your local council or government website. Visit their website or give them a call to determine whether your store can do business again. https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
- Gather resources. Some local support groups, business networks, councils and governments may offer checklists, signage, and other resources that you can use. Take advantage of these things if they’re available.
- Shopping centres. Some jeweller will be in shopping centres, make sure you are up to date with the actions and plans for the shopping centre, some will be helping with signage, guidance etc.
Prepare your employees
Next up, prep your team and ensure that your staff are up to spead:
- Identify staff members that you will bring on board. List the employees that you need in your stores and get in touch with them.
- Confirm that they’re in good health to work. See to it that they’re available and healthy enough to work. Remember social distancing rules still apply so you might need to change your store layout.
- Schedule hours of work. Once you know who’s willing and able to go back to work, map out their schedules and share (ideally using a cloud-based system) so everyone is on the same page.
- Include health and safety talking points in your daily huddles. Keep health and safety top of mind by constantly reminding your team on the importance of proper hygiene and social distancing. If you’re implementing new policies in-store, always remind your team to enforce them. Do you need to update you company handbook?
- Post signage in staff areas. In addition to verbal reminders, written materials can ensure that your team prioritises health and safety in your store.
Prepare your store
Your store layout might need to change:
- Store layout. Does your store allow for social distancing
- How will you manage customers. How many customers can you have in your store at any one time? and how will you manage them
- Staff area. Will staff areas need to change, we’ve all come accustomed to tape on the floors to help with distancing, can you do the same in the store
- Post signage in staff areas and outside the store. In addition to verbal reminders, written materials can ensure that your team prioritises health and safety in your store.
Prepare necessary your equipment, supplies, and technologies
This is such an important area, make sure that all services you need to run your business are up and running. Here’s a quick list of what to go over before you reopen your store:
- Check that your physical location is good to go. Inspect your physical store to ensure that it’s safe for reopening. Did anything go amiss while you were on lock-down? Things like damages to the property or signs of forced entry require immediate action.
- Confirm that the utilities are working. If your electricity and water connection were disconnected or interrupted for some reason, call the utility companies to ensure that they’re working before you reopen.
- Phone and internet. Its even more important than ever to stay connected and available.
- Security equipment. Test your security system (cameras, alarms, etc.) to ensure that they’re in working order.
- Make sure your POS and retail management systems are good to go. You need to be able to do sales and serve customers.
- Chip & PIN. Definitely don’t forget to test this one.
Tips from Primasure
As a broker, we appreciate that alongside the risk management and insurance advice you usually require from us, we can also offer guidance on the practical side of mobilising your workforce once again. These are just a few point from a downloadable document, click here to download the full version.
Reassuring employees’ concerns and meeting their needs. You should consider how to put appropriate policies and procedures in place to ensure any needs such as these are catered for, and anticipate that certain members of staff may be unable to return to work as a result of these challenges.
Hygiene and cleaning checklist.
- Deep cleans of all areas and facilities, including heating, air conditioning, etc. should be undertaken
- Following the initial deep clean, a regular cleaning regime will need to be developed. Cleaning desks, workstations and surfaces before and after work should be a minimum and this may need to be extended to include cleaning throughout the working day, between shifts etc
- In areas such as kitchens, staff canteens, etc. special considerations may be needed in terms of hygiene and cleaning
- Ensure that waste management has been reviewed. Measures for managing potentially contaminated waste will need to be considered
All employee must carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment.
- There are interactive tools on the Health and Safety Executive website Interactive Tools (HSE) to assist you in doing so. If you have fewer than 5 workers, you do not have to have a written risk assessment.
- Employers have a duty to consult with their employees on health and safety and it is normal practice to discuss measures you propose to manage the risks from COVID-19. Your employees are often best placed to understand the workplace risks and have a view on how to work safely.
What if a member of staff become sick with the virus after we return to site.
- Consider measures needed in case of a re-occurrence of the virus amongst staff, and preparations made for the closure and deep clean of the premises in this instance. This plan should include:
- Identification of a room or area where someone who is feeling unwell or has symptoms can be safely isolated
- How they can be safely transferred from there to a health facility/home
- Agree the plan in advance with your partner health care provider or health department where possible.
- Consider the need for health declarations or taking the temperature of employees when returning to work.
Tips from StoneHawk
StoneHawk specialises in reducing crime and supporting retailers mental health, delivers armed robbery prevention training tailored to each brand. Whilst teaching best practice skills to significantly reduce crime and protect staff, our empowering approach is proven to create confidence and resilience in full staff teams. Even some of industry’s the most security aware brands tell us that they have updated their security routines and behaviours as a result of the StoneHawk course.
- Ensure that a full check of the premises and security systems are operational prior to re-opening.
- Check that all lighting, CCTV, security fog/smoke, synthetic DNA sprays, fobs, doors and cabinet locks are in working order.
- Consider how to open / close safely with fewer staff.Adjust the layout of the store to support social distancing, but be mindful that this does not create opportunities for the criminals.
- Make sure that all staff know the key words / phrases to alert them to suspicious behaviour.
- If the worst does happen in the form of a robbery, create distance from the aggressor/s, show your hands to show that you are not a threat and comply with all requests made. When it is safe to do so, press your panic alarm and alert the police. Check on your colleagues / members of the public and preserve the scene for forensics.
Implement post-COVID-19 health and safety measures
Take steps to protect your staff and customers when you reopen your store. Here are some ideas.
Display signs outside the store. Set up signs at the entrance reminding customers to go home if they are feeling sick. Make it clear how many customers can be in the store at any one time, if possible have some kind of queuing system onside the store
Have in-store signs reminding people about social distancing. In-store, have signs reminding people to keep their distance. Consider adding markers on your floor.
Give your employees protective equipment like masks and gloves. Give your employees personal protective equipment to build trust with staff and customers that you are looking after them.
Plexiglass at the counter. If possible, set up plexiglass at the counters.
Make hand sanitisers and wipes available. If possible, give staff and customers hand sanitisers and wipes so they can clean their hands,this could be in store and outside in the ques. Education staff to clean jewellery, watches and counters after a customer has left. Also make sure you clean touch areas like windows and queue buster rails if you have them.
Return and exchange policy. Consider your exchange and return policy, do you want items returned.
Customer limits in store. Every business will need to set limits, make sure staff and customers are informed and adhere to them
Opening hours. Consider opening hours, maybe shorten the day and used the hours you’re closed to keep the store sanitised every day.
Make sure your business is online and can be found.
Tips from TJA-Connect
Being online isn’t just a necessity for retailers, the same goes for suppliers. With the trade shows declining and now the coronavirus suppliers and service providers have to make sure they have an online presence so potential buyers can find them.
New products will still need to be sourced, TJA-Connect is the jewellery trades business to business directory for finding suppliers and services.
Online presence. Build your online presence, list your business TJA-Connect, update your website or have one built. Look for other trade relevant sites where you can list your business, services and products.
New products. New products are a great source for promotions, more suppliers are online now so start the process there.
New services. Added value services will make all the difference, it worth thinking about what else you add to sale such as Engagement Cam with engagement ring sales, its a ring box with a video recorder built into it.
Supplier discounts. What suppliers are offering deals, payment terms and discounts
Retail Xchange. Retail Xchange is a service by TJA-Connect to sell or giveaway items not required by other jewellers or suppliers
Stock management system
Tips from JewelMaster
Contactless payment, is your system integrated and card payment integrated
- JewelMaster is integrated with PaymentSense. In-store clicking on the relevant payment button activates the PaymentSense approval process directly to the PaymentSense terminal with no PCI issues. Imagine no miss-keying of values and having a card machine daily printout that will always balance to the sales at day end, increasing money security. Additional PaymentSense features enable full website integration (WooCommerce, Magento, OpenCart, Shopify and many more), ‘no-card-present’ in store processing and even ‘pay by email’
Website, is your store and website integrated so a customer can click and collect or shop online
- JewelMaster links directly to client websites. This covers everything from the actual website menu for the stock item, images, descriptions, prices; in fact anything about the product being shown. Orders taken online can be automatically introduced into the system and depending on the type of transaction, the system can be set to fire off manufacture records, wholesale orders or just a straight sale. The links have always been there, each client is different and the solution can be made to fit.
Repairs, allow your customer to check online if their repair is ready for collection
- JewelMaster has a full Repairs Portal linking real time to the store. As soon a a Repair is placed on the store system, a customer could log in and make a comment on the repair, add images to the repair, see completion dates and other data. The customer can access the portal directly from their mobile as well as their iPad, PC or MAC. THe full repairs process can be managed online. Clients can and do run successful online repairs businesses with JewelMaster and the Repairs Portal
Repairs, organise online payments for repairs so they can be posted
- With appropriate setup, a customer could arrange online payment of repairs, or even support ‘no-card-present’ payments through the normal Till, which by itself would update the repairs Portal record
Tickets, can your tickets go in the ultrasonic cleaner every time it’s been touched
- JewelMaster only supports a brand of tickets that can go through the ultrasonic cleaner.
Stocktake, great time to do a thorough stocktake and do a sale of old stock
- JewelMaster has a full stocktake procedure as standard in every installation. This covers the actual scan, the reporting based on those scans, a full auto update of Adjustments In and\or Adjustments Out; all with appropriate descriptions, dates, values and quantities and all subsequent and prior stock reporting by supplier, group, super group, sub group, store, purchase type (On Approval, not on approval, all), metal, stone, profile and many other criteria
Government website and information. https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Sign up to get the government email alerts. https://www.gov.uk/email-signup?topic=/coronavirus-taxon
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