By: Y van Vliet 27-05-2020
While we are slowly awakening from our lockdown, most stores have opened their doors again to the public. In contrast to only 2 months ago, there is a whole list of safety measures that need to be taken into account. Not just retailers, but also customers are asked to keep the new measures in mind when leaving home. By working together to keep each other safe, we can make sure that we no longer need to be locked up in our homes.
Two shoppingcenters that put in extra effort to create a safe shopping environment together with the shop owners, are Mall of the Netherlands in Leidschendam and Stadshart Amstelveen, both belong to Unibail Rodamco Westfield. We recently paid these shoppingcenters a visit to experience what shopping is like in Corona times. It might need some time getting used to social distancing and an occasional wait in line to get into a store, but we were pleasantly surprised.
Are you curious what to expect when you hit the stores? Keep on reading!
If you are eager to go shopping but you want to avoid the crowds, you can easily check the crowdedness in advance. Of course, like we’re used to, weekends tend to be busier than weekdays, but if you are looking to avoid the crowds, that is certainly possible. Although ‘crowds’ aren’t what they used to be, as there are limitations as to how many people can be in a store. According to the protocol ‘verantwoord winkelen’, a store can have 1 customer per 10 square meters. These guidelines are being well monitored and retail staff is incredibly alert.
When you have a favorite store in mind that you wish to visit, it is recommended to also check this particular retailer to be aware of their guidelines to create a pleasant shopping experience. There might be stores that offer appointment-only visits, which also assures you don’t have to wait in line to get into a store and gives you plenty of space to roam a store. In addition there might be alternative opening hours that you want to be aware of.
The importance of social distancing is carefully brought to our attention by our government and the RIVM, nevertheless it might slip our minds occasionally. The new shopping experience is not only designed to stimulate people to keep their distance, but also to assure people won’t forget. With newly created walking routes, a maximum number of visitors, and floor markings, you can rest assured that every shopper is being reminded of the importance of social distancing.
In addition, Mall of the Netherlands is the first to use a digital Stay Safe Tool. This innovative application points out if and when we don’t keep enough distance.
Digital Stay Safe tool at Mall of the Netherlands
Frequently touched surfaces like doors, are continuously disinfected throughout the day. All entries offer disinfectant and lounge areas have been closed off. Toilets are partly closed off to make sure proper distance can be maintained in the bathrooms as well.
Of course washing your hands and avoiding touching the face is still highly recommended.
Will we ever return to 'normal' let's hope for the best. But in the meantime we are very happy to see that great efforts are being made to assure a safe and comfortable shopping environment is made, so that we can keep supporting our retailers in this unique time.