The majority of our stores will be flinging open their doors with a theatrical flourish on the 12th April, ready to allow customers in again. As retail and hospitality staff brush the cobwebs from their faces and emerge from their homes like stunned hamsters, I think it’s worth having a refresher course on what we’ll be be doing differently in stores and how we can all help each other out.
- Firstly, be patient. We’re operating on reduced hours for the time being, and we’ll be implementing all the time-consuming but necessary steps when you’re in the store i.e wiping everything down, including shoe horns, and quarantining any shoes that have been tried on. If necessary, we will limit the number of customers allowed in the shop to ensure safe distance. Also, I might not remember what last any particular shoe is built on because I haven’t seen them since 2020.
- Be safe. We’ll hopefully be welcoming many customers back to our shops, so please keep your masks on (pretend you’re a supervillain or Zorro if that helps at all) and take advantage of the hand sanitizer that will be available in all stores, taking care not to drink it, or even worse, spill it on the shoes. A QR code will be there as you enter so that you can check in via the NHS app. Also, please refrain from touching, sniffing or licking the display shoes too much. It makes us nervous.
- Be smart. I know you’ve missed us. As tempting as it would be to slow-motion run towards your favourite shop assistant, hold them in your arms and embrace them like you never want to let go… don’t. We’ve missed you too, but we can still catch up from a safe distance. Keep 2 metres/6 feet/11 bananas apart at all times.
- Be nice. This year has been tough for everyone, so please be aware that a lot of the staff throughout England coming back to work on Monday have been on furlough for the better part of a whole year. Things may take a little time to adjust, so bear with us.
On a final note, here’s something that I noticed when we reopened the first time: when trying shoes on, please tie the laces. You’d be amazed how many times I had to tell people that.
Thank you for listening, and for supporting us throughout the past year – we’re looking forward to seeing you in-store again soon!
Lovely words by Alex – Store Manager – Covent Garden