Christmas shopping and the January sales have always been a struggle, it’s like Black Friday but with 10x the number of shoppers. This leads to enormous queues and empty shelves, compounded by stressed shoppers and strained employees. This retail affliction lasts months, with millions of us putting ourselves through the arduous experience. With the likely fall of retail giants Arcadia, sales are going to be commonplace, increasing crowd numbers even more.
Now add in a worldwide pandemic, and millions of people trying to remain set on their course for a ‘normal’ Christmas period, equals a deadly retail cocktail ripe to increase the transmission rate of the virus.
Shopping for Christmas presents, and good deals in the sales is a time-honoured tradition. Millions of us flock to the retail outlets to purchase gifts for our loved ones. This inevitably increases the traffic inside the stores dramatically. In recent years, traffic levels in the UK have been rising approximately 2% year on year.
To make things worse, the Christmas shopping swell phenomenon has started early this year, KPMG has reported an increase of retail sales by 5.6% in September of this year. Indicating that shoppers aren’t going to be deterred by the threat of infection.
As shoppers return to the high street, internal policies must be evaluated, and protection must be reviewed to keep everyone involved safe.
Highly visible social distancing solutions, like the signage and print options that we offer encourage social distancing. For example, we offer noticeboards that indicate shop policy on mask-wearing and free-standing hand sanitiser stations to reduce virus transmission from touchpoints. We offer long-lasting, hard-wearing bespoke safety signage that suits every scenario, and every business. We use only the best materials to ensure they last as long as the guidance is up to date. Once they no longer fit the government guidelines, they can be easily recycled, as our solutions are predominantly made from paper-based materials.
Like all signage, after several viewings, the audience starts to ignore the messaging. It’s why pre-flight safety briefings routinely get ignored. It is vital for you to continue to change your signage and print, as the situation rapidly changes retailers need to display up to date information at all times.
To stop shoppers from flouting the rules. You can erect signage that directs your shoppers on the correct procedure, what to do, and how to do it. This could be small changes like, please have exact change or contactless payment ready, or it could be ‘only 3 customers at any one time’. To make these messages more obvious to attract attention we can create large, bright signage with bold lettering for you. As well as our large, PVC-free, non-slip, brightly coloured floor markings that denote space between shoppers.
Throughout this pandemic, sustainability has made a huge resurgence. In the UK, the government has devoted millions of pounds to encourage businesses to go green. This is an opportunity to do signage and print right by using sustainable products wherever possible. Latex-based inks, biodegradable temporary signage, and responsible materials are the best options for businesses looking to add sustainability to their signage priorities.
To keep shoppers safe during the rush of traffic brought on by the festive period, the January sales, and the exit of lockdown, safety signage must be present and highly visible. Ignorance is not an option; shoppers must understand the risks and how to reduce them.