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The Return of Retail

Since our Government’s latest announcement more retail and other establishments prepare to re-open their doors after months of being closed, it comes as no surprise that the return will be a whole lot different than before. Although Leicester is still currently experiencing its second phase of lockdown, we continue to support businesses across the UK in preparation on re-opening their doors.

Now that the clouds of CV-19 are slowly passing, the new normal is upon us. The Retail world is forever adapting, but here at Pivotal, we want to touch base on how we have helped and can do more. We want to share with you some areas of consideration to support that return plan.

Through these recent times Pivotal have provided a whole variety of safety solutions, to help initially those frontline and key workers, as well as now the rest of business as it prepares for the ‘great return to work’. In a world where businesses and consumers alike still feel so uncertain, we want to delve into how Retail can reopen in a meaningful and considerate way.


Here at Pivotal, we highlight a few simple steps on how this could be done.

  • Define store purpose

Since lockdown – online shopping was our only hope on indulging ourselves in purchasing. The people who did some shopping online will likely now do more and those who were yet to adapt have had to get to know remote delivery services. We can expect people to carry on using these services and so we should – look at the positive impact on the environment that we have seen from their services to due its changes with delivery logistics, without forgetting the massive strain that it has created by unnecessary individual visits.

But how do we get consumers back into the store?

Though we are all short on facts when it comes to transitioning back out of lockdown, the consistent variable in plans that are starting to come out in different locations is that they will be staggered. Your customer journey must work for fewer visitors initially and also as things begin to build momentum and get busier. Bear this in mind and keep things simple, fewer touch-points but make each one count.* Customers will want to spend less time in the store than before and have a more focussed reason for being there than just browsing.


  • Design for distance and build reassurance

Retail is re-opening; this does not necessarily mean we can return to 100% normality. Ensuring that we are still maintaining our now new ‘1-2 metre’ social distance rule – this still needs to be enforced in the best, safest way possible. This could be with the use of screen partitions, social distancing floor stickers, marked barriers as well as one-way systems around the shop floor or it could be as simple as designating a member of the team at the front door to meet, greet and reassure that your business cares. This will overall build reassurance for both the retail worker and customer alike.

Although whilst we find ourselves designing for socialisation through these types of dividers and with a demand for quick solutions, it is essential that we are able to do so by designing them in a thoughtful and meaningful way to maintain the brand experience. This is where the power of design, slogans and shapes can come in. Whilst creating store experiences that respect distance guidelines for non-essential retail, brands have the opportunity to manipulate shapes, lines and flooring tiles in order to achieve this and to breed a sense of originality and visual appeal. **


  • Re-evaluating queuing

For shoppers reluctant to face long queueing times, retailers have the opportunity to disrupt this experience by reimagining the experience of queueing itself and even redefine it as a process that adds value to the consumer’s overall brand experience. Brands should acknowledge that their retail experience starts whilst customers wait to get inside and now ask themselves how they can add more layers of storytelling, education, entertainment, or additional services that make this process count. Understanding social psychology and the spectrum of reassurance needed will be critical for brands as they begin reopening stores and design new retail experiences. ***


Although the re-opening of stores is a positive for the retail and economy movement, we still believe that being thoughtful and considerate is a high factor on moving forward safely. Remember, the great British weather is changeable, we have been fairly lucky so far, however, sanitised branded brolly stations, wind and rain deflectors or professional look and feel sanitiser stations are good examples.

We want to reassure our current and future clients that Pivotal is still open for business and we continue to service our front line and key workers throughout the UK, as we have been doing these past 16 weeks.

Here at Pivotal we not only help with instore point of sale, retail marketing and retail solutions – but the safety solutions we have provided will be continuing. If there is any way that we can help, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Buy our safety solutions directly HERE


All the best and stay safe.

  • Pivotal team



Sources: */**/***Sheridan & Co

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