Phil Punt explains how local business Robinsons Electric have been keeping their customers safe during lockdown and the procedures in store, now that they are open again.
We, like most retailers, were instructed to close during the early days of lockdown which for those of us who have been trading on the high street for decades was very surreal indeed.
Whilst we watched and applauded our NHS, and other essential staff do daily battle with the disease from the comfort of our home working environment, we were still allowed to continue with on-line sales and doorstep deliveries.
On a couple of occasions, we even helped some very elderly people replace their broken appliances because although we were not deemed an essential service, to an 84-year-old without a washing machine or fridge, we were. The precautions we took at the time to ensure a safe outcome were comprehensive.
Those installations gave us an excellent base for our current working practices that enable our staff and customers to stay safe. We are now open again and fully understand the concerns that people must have when either they want to come to the shop, or when we come knocking on the door with a smiling face to fix or install a product.
To start with we don’t have large showrooms, so we can easily manage the number of customers coming into the shop, they first use the hand sanitiser station at the door before entering, which was supplied by those wonderful people at Bosch.
We then ask customers to use the current social distance guideline advice of keeping 2 metres away or two Herdwick sheep if you prefer. However, if we think we may need to get closer for demonstrating something, then we have some disposable masks that we ask both you and our staff to wear.
When it comes to home installation of a product we will arrive and before entering your home ensure the same hygiene is observed and in the case of a two-person job, will wear masks as they will be working closely together. We will ask that you vacate the room we will be working in, and once the product has been installed, wipe down any surfaces that have been touched using specialist medical wipes. Demonstration of the product will take place either at a safe distance or again by using masks.
There may be occasions where a customer visiting one of the shops would like to be seen without others present. This could be because they are classed as being in the more vulnerable group and in which case we may choose to close while we deal with them. We will place a sign on the door explaining the situation and what to do in that event.
As you can see, while the rules may have been relaxed, we are trying very hard to ensure our customers feel they are safe to visit our stores and continue to enjoy the experience of seeing and listening to the great products we have on show.
We hope to see you soon, in either our Lancaster or Kendal store, but if you would like more information contact us on 01524 34291 or 01539 733497 or visit our website www.robinsonselectric.co.uk