retail stores reopen

Here's what retail stores in Canada will need to do when it's safe to reopen

Regions across Canada are beginning to see a loosening of restrictions around non-essential retailers, meaning stores must soon learn to operate in a completely new way and prepare for a re-opening, mid-pandemic.

To help them navigate the new landscape, the Retail Council of Canada (RCC) has released a new guide for retailers as they open the doors of their brick-and-mortar businesses once more.

The RCC's COVID-19 Response Planning Guide was created by compiling data from companies already operating in countries that have lifted restrictions on commercial sectors. 

It offers Recovery Checklists & Templates, which highlight potential issues and proposed plans, with suggestions that include: 

  • Developing a Return To Work action plan
  • Establishing procedures for identifying and isolating employees with symptoms
  • Implementing temperature screening mechanisms using the least intrusive methods possible, like non-contact infrared thermometers
  • Allowing employees to work from home when possible

A social distancing and sanitation checklist for employers includes some key tips: 

  • Ensuring employees stay 6 feet apart whenever practical
  • Adjusting seating in break rooms to adhere to social distancing
  • Banning gatherings or meetings of employees during working hours
  • Encouraging employees to take breaks and lunch outside
  • Disallowing handshaking or other unnecessary person-to-person contact in the workplace
  • Ensuring handwashing procedures for staff
  • Providing cleaning staff with PPE while they sanitize workplaces
  • Increasing store signage, floor markers, and sneeze-guards

The report also offers several poster templates that remind employees and customers about social distancing best practices during the pandemic. 

Along with the checklists are two recovery "playbooks", which teach brands how they can ensure the safety of both their customers and employees, from guidance on payment procedures to confirmed case responses.

Retailers can access all of the RCC's resources by signing up and downloading on their website, which also offers regional updates on non-essential retailer restrictions across Canada.  There are four more playbooks to be released in the coming weeks. 

Lead photo by

Fareen Karim


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