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Retail Recovery: Managing Health and Safety with Compliance Reporting

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“Managing Health and Safety with Compliance Reporting” is the second part of our four-part Retail Recovery series. Click here to download the full retail recovery plan.

As stores begin to open, some retailers can breathe a tentative sigh of relief. Footfall in the UK is increasing, but it’s still well down on last year’s numbers and it’s going to take a while to return to normal levels. It’s fantastic to see the enthusiasm of customers returning to the high street and the queues outside retailers like Primark, Sports Direct and IKEA. However, the most important thing to remember is that we are still in a global health crisis and the safety of employees and customers must be at the forefront of every retailer’s mind. With stores

re-opening and adapting to the “new normal”, retailers have introduced innovative ways to mitigate health risks in store. Aldi launched a new “automated traffic light system” across its entire UK store estate to limit the number of shoppers allowed in store at any one time. Moss Bros are offering one to-one appointments to limit the number of customers in store, and Waterstones plan to quarantine any book that is handled by a customer for 72 hours.

And yet, it’s one thing to create a great set of health and safety policies, but it’s another thing to know if they are implemented correctly. Whether it’s increasing the frequency of handwashing and surface cleaning, queue management or a one-way system – you need to know that every employee and every store is compliant.

Monitoring health and safety compliance

It’s not enough to simply inform your stores of the new procedures you are putting in place and hope they implement them. If your health and safety measures are implemented incorrectly or haphazardly this could negatively affect your brand image.

Customers will be less likely to visit a shop that’s overcrowded or has poorly managed social distancing. Even when the crisis is over, it’s likely that they will still associate your brand with lower standards and a relaxed approach to health and safety.

You need to leave your customers with the best possible impression – and you have little margin for error.

To maintain your brand standards and make sure your stores are compliant, you need to be monitoring the following metrics.

Get a handle on your retail operations metrics

Daily health and safety form completion: With countless new measures in place, it’s likely that you’ll have multiple daily forms and checks to complete in store. If your stores are completing these forms on paper, it’s impossible for central teams to get a handle on each store’s compliance. It’s not enough to rely on reports from your Area Managers. You need to digitise these forms so that you can get an instant snapshot of completion rate, so you can pinpoint any areas of non-compliance.

Task completion and response rate: With an agile communication strategy, it’s likely that your guidance for stores will be updated regularly. If you set a task for stores, you need to know how long it takes store teams to complete it – or if they have completed it at all. During the next few months, team efficiency is going to be vital. How else can you manage a store portfolio and deliver your retail recovery strategy?

Time to compliance: You’ve invested time, effort and money in creating collateral that will help keep your store teams and customers safe. You have issued stores with all the information they need to add two-metre markings on the floor, and health and safety information by the door.

In the past, you’d have liked every store to be perfect at 9am on launch day, but you know it takes time to get every store 100% compliant. But how long? 12 hours, 48 hours or even a week? It is simply not feasible for this to happen any longer.

You need your stores to be fully compliant in the shortest possible time. Non-compliant stores not only pose a health and safety risk, they can also impact sales and margin. But if you don’t track the time to compliance – you can’t manage it down!

Compliance to photo requests: All retailers share images of their stores. Sharing photos is a quick and easy way to see what your stores look like and monitor the implementation of new season launches and promotions. It can also be useful for checking that your new health and safety measures are implemented in the correct way.

Driving future performance with retail operations metrics

Right now, we are focussing solely on recovery from the current crisis, however getting a handle on these metrics now could have powerful implications in the future.

Imagine a Monday trading meeting that didn’t just focus on LFL variances and high-level metrics like ATV and Conversion Rate. Imagine a world where you understood the financial impact of operational activity across your estate, and where your retail management teams could focus their activity on driving results.

For example, think about your stores that delivered fourth quartile ATV last year. There are several measures you could put in place, that will likely include some or all of the following:

But which has the biggest impact on ATV? Which impacts ATV fastest? Do some efforts drive only marginal benefits?

By digitising your retail operations and recording these metrics, you can build up a powerful data set to unlock actionable insight and remove the guess work from target setting.

Want to learn more?

Download the full StorIQ Retail Recovery Plan by clicking this link.

The plan is set out in 4 stages. We’ll help you develop an agile communication strategy, improve compliance, and conduct remote store visits all whilst cutting costs and building a leaner operations function. We’ll help you analyse ROI and offer advice of investing in smart tech solutions to support your recovery.

If you need help or advice managing health and safety with compliance reporting then please get in touch – we’ll be happy to help!

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