After the pandemic, the authorities promoted a safe environment for the people to move in; they continuously made various announcements to request people to follow the protocols. However, these protocols become difficult to maintain in open markets or unregulated spaces. The situation is reversed when it comes to the regulated retail spaces in malls, as these establishments ensure strict adherence to all the guidelines.
Individuals entering these spaces are encouraged to exercise social distancing to reduce the spread of Covid-19. Some establishments, for example, have posters or display units indicating that the number of customers authorised at any particular moment should be kept to a minimum of six feet apart, while others have signage stating that the number of customers in the establishment should be kept to a minimum of six feet apart. The way these guidelines are implemented by retailers varies depending on the type of retailer and even the store category.
Because of the differences in-store layout, customer flow, and consumers’ willingness to follow social-distancing counsel, it was first difficult to adopt uniform standards. However, things have calmed down as people have become more cautious, particularly following the second wave. People should only visit retail spaces that follow the COVID procedure, given the gravity of the situation. As creating a “one-size-fits-all” set of principles is difficult, the fundamental approach is to use social distancing. These principles are based on operations management concepts and research on store traffic flow. Other methods are being considered, such as employing a sanitising technology to clean garments with a 99.95 per cent guarantee that all bacteria and viruses have been eliminated.
Shoppers have gained confidence due to regular temperature checks, requests for immunisation certificates, and the presence of sanitisers inside retail locations. Most reassuring is the fact that retail establishments have made vaccination of employees a requirement. These protocols are likely to continue for a longer period of time, and individuals will progressively prefer these locations to unregulated markets.