Back To Business: How to Create a COVID-Safe Shopping Environment - VITAL+ Pharmacy

After months of staying at home, retailers all over the country are cheering in unison at the prospect of opening up their doors. But in the wake of the pandemic, its essential to make the necessary precautions to ensure your retail space remains safe, healthy and COVID-free.

Whether you’re a small local shopfront or a supermarket chain, there are plenty of ways to prep your business for a safe return. From sanitising stations and social distancing to floor layouts and shift work, we’ve pulled together some helpful tips and essential buys to ensure your back to work strategy is a complete success.

Follow the social distance rule

Ensure tables, desks, checkouts, meeting rooms and communal areas are appropriately distanced, keeping to the 1.5m social distancing rule. Display floor marks, signs and posters to remind shoppers and staff to keep their distance from each other. You can print out posters for free on the Safe Work Australia website. 

Set up sanitising stations

Scatter sanitisers in entrances to encourage people to keep their hands clean and germ-free before they enter the store. The more you have accessible, the more likely it is that people will use them. Display clear guidelines and instructions to make sure they know how to use effectively.

Invest in antibacterial hand wash

Keep bathrooms and kitchens fully stocked with antibacterial hand wash
Remind your staff and customers how to wash hands correctly with this handy poster. That way you can eliminate the spread of any nasty germs. 
As an added touch, place hand creams around staff communal areas to stop skin from drying out.

Encourage staff to clean as they go

Germs and illness are often spread via surfaces, so keep out cleaning wipes and disinfectant along with reminders that staff should clean any surface they’ve come into contact with. Particularly high traffic areas — if staff are sharing desk spaces, kitchen counters, bathrooms and cupboards, encourage everyone to wipe down every surface after use.

Adjust floor layouts

Consider adjustments to the layout of your retail space and your workflows to enable employees and customers to keep at least 1.5 metres apart.
You can achieve this by spreading out furniture, removing displays, restricting pathways to increase distancing, or using floor and/or wall markings and signage to encourage 1.5-metre spacing. 

Monitor customers

Monitor the total number of people within the shopping centre to ensure it does not exceed maximum occupancy limits. Checking temperature at the door can add extra safety to your procedures.

Stagger start times and organise shifts

Stagger start, finish and break times where appropriate. Consider separating workers into dedicated teams with each team working the same shift or in a particular area and having access to their own meal areas or break facilities.

Provide protective equipment

Provide your staff with masks, thermometers and gloves. This will give staff and shoppers peace of mind you’re taking the necessary precautions and preventing any further spread.

Encourage click and collect

Encourage retailers to promote click and collect options to limit the number of customers passing through the store.

Increase cleaning schedule


Improve professional cleaning and disinfecting procedures within the store to reduce the occurrence of germs and bacteria. Make sure appropriate signage is displayed throughout the retail space, invest in powerful cleaning disinfectants and increase the frequency of your professional cleaning schedule.


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