Large retailers, which currently only deliver essential items amidst the lockdown, are taking precautionary measures such as social distancing and restricted entry and marked lines to maintain social distance to prevent coronavirus infection in their stores.
Some stores, such as Reliance Fresh, More, Walmart and Metro Cash & Carry, are also testing body temperatures before allowing their customers to enter the store.
Metro Cash & Carry India says it pre-packs loose goods to prevent infection in its stores and ensures plenty of cash tills and mobile checkouts to reduce billing time. It also introduced a token system to prevent large crowds in stores.
Many retailers, such as Future, DMart, and Walmart, specialize in their store floors to maintain social distance. They clean the shop regularly and disinfect all touchpoints with trolley and basket handles.
“We manage the queue so that people can stand apart from each other,” Neville Noronha, CEO and Managing Director of Avenue Supermarkets, told Media.
Avenue Supermarts, which runs D-Mart stores, offers color coupons to customers waiting outside in the open space and allows them to introduce one color at a time as part of its crowdsourcing plan.
“We call the color yellow and green, and then there are 20 to 30 people inside the store. When these people come out of the store, we call the next color,” Noronha said.
Metro Cash & Carry MD & CEO Arvind Mediratta said: “We have launched a token system to manage customers and prevent large gatherings inside the store. Tokens are properly cleaned with disinfectants and then handed over to customers. “
Walmart India, which operates in the Cash & Carry format, has also identified lines and allows only one person per membership card.
“We have found our best-priced store floors with yellow stripes and boxes, with enough space for each member to maintain a safe distance from each other,” a Walmart India spokesperson said.
He added: “There are also contactless thermometers in the shop to perform temperature checks. Fever sufferers are restricted at our stores’ and high-touch surfaces are regularly cleaned with disinfectants.”
As far as sanitation measures are concerned, Walmart India has already deployed multiple hand sanitizer stations throughout each store along with handwashing stations at the store entrance.
Metro Cash & Carry India is also pursuing hygiene prescribed by health authorities and pre-packing loose goods in its stores to prevent infection.
“We inspect every entry with infra-thermometers in all of our stores and reject customers who have temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. We have a full-time specialty officer at each of our stores. Carrie In Iya spokesman said
Many retailers have closed access to other segments, such as clothing in the store, and are operating at one-third of their space.
The Future Group, led by Kishore Biyani, signs at the billing counters of its BigBazar and EasyDay stores so that people have to be three feet away.
“We have made markings on the ground so that people can stand to maintain a safe distance,” a spokesman for the Future Group said.
The company currently operates from 700 to 800 stores in Pan India, which has large stores and small stores amidst lockdown conditions.
“We only run the food and grocery section. If you get into any BigBazaar, then you can only shop and get what you need. You can’t shop for anything else, ”he said.
A total of 32 states and union territories have announced a total lockdown of 560 districts in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
However, due to the lockdown, many retailers are also experiencing a lot of problems, even though the necessary items are excluded from it.
“Our staff can’t get to the store because the police are chasing them when they are on their way to store.
The Retail Association of India has requested that home deliveries be allowed to prevent people from moving out of their homes, thereby preventing the infection from spreading.
According to statistics from the Ministry of Health, there have been nearly 500 coronavirus cases in India so far.