A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Respecting being an essential retailer in Covid

With newsagencies open in areas under lockdown due to Covid, it’s important that we do so in a way that respects the opportunity. Having gone through this 5 times already and now into lockdown 6, here is what we have found works for us, the community and nearby retailers who are closed:

  • Retail as a service. You’re open because you are essential, not to overtly take a position against a competitor.
  • Make shopping easy. Reduce clutter. Put sought after items at the front. Make shopping easy for grab and go.
  • Make it safe. Have face masks and hand sanitiser next to your QR code check in at the entrance and at the counter.
  • Offer click and collect. Either through your website or for phone orders, offer to bring the items to the shop door for easy collection.
  • Play happy music.
  • Don’t do awesome VM displays. Be practical.
  • Be grateful to customers and grateful on social media.
  • Reduce promotion of non essential products on social media.
  • Keep the counter cleaner than ever.
  • Give staff what they need: free masks, breaks for washing hands, time to recharge.

If there are retailers nearby that can’t open with considerable stock they are worried about, maybe offer to help them move some of that stock. I mention this for areas where the lockdown is extended.

While it is terrific having a shop that is permitted to be open during Covid lockdowns, it can be a curse sometimes with how others, competitors and customers, see you. This is why it is important that we trade in a way that is respectful of the unique situation and thoughtful of others.

Social responsibility

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