In accordance with the government's roadmap for reopening the country, Penneys along with other non-essential retailers will be allowed to open on June 29 at the earliest.
Although Penneys Ireland is yet to outline what measures will be put in place to ensure social distancing can take place, stores have been reopening across Europe with a number of rules and guidelines for shoppers and staff.
In Belgium, the following rules and measures have been put in place for customers:
- We follow the guidelines of the Belgian government and the National Security Council and constantly limit the number of customers allowed in the store at the same time in order to ensure the recommended distance between shoppers and employees. In Belgium, the recommended distance is 1.5 meters(two metres in Ireland).
- Via clear route markings, floor stickers, specially designated employees and extra security personnel, customers are guided through the store to limit contact with others as much as possible.
- We deployed additional security personnel to help customers maintain the necessary social distance while queuing to enter our store.
- We have adapted the interior of our stores to allow extra space between people who are waiting to pay.
- We have developed a new queue system at our checkout points to enable social distance between customers. Specially designated employees are ready to steer this in the right direction.
- All our fitting rooms and visitor toilets are temporarily closed in shops where they are present. We can revise this policy according to future developments.
- Entrances and exits are clearly indicated.
- Messages will be distributed regularly through the in-store public address system to remind customers to respect social distancing.
And for Penneys staff, Belgium stores have outlined the following:
- Disinfectant hand gel is offered everywhere in the store for staff and shoppers: at the entrance, on every floor and in the employee areas.
- One in two cash registers is closed to save enough space between paying customers and employees behind the cash register. Plexiglas was also placed at open cash registers.
- Mouth masks and gloves are also available to personnel, as recommended by the government.
- Customers who do not wear gloves are kindly requested to disinfect their hands at the entrance. Specially designated employees are ready to help customers if necessary.
- All testers in the health and beauty department have been removed.
- We encourage card and, if possible, contactless payments to minimize contact with cash. The limit for contactless payments has been increased to € 50.
- We have appointed employees to manage queues at checkouts and shop entrances and to ensure compliance with applicable social distancing rules.
- Specially designated employees ensure that hand hygiene stations are refilled regularly. Any problems are immediately reported to the store manager.
If things are to go ahead in line with the Government's roadmap, Penneys will be able to reopen stores in Ireland on June 29. However, they will only be able to do so if they have on-street entrances.
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