The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has issued advice for retailers and colleagues on the impact of the coronavirus, as local retailers continue to adapt to the growing health crisis in order to meet their communities’ requirements.
In light of the government’s decision to move to the ‘delay’ phase of responding to Covid-19, the ACS has published guidance and resources for retailers here.
Commenting on the ‘delay’ phase decision, ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “This decision means retailers should change the way they support colleagues showing the main symptoms: a cough and a temperature.
“If colleagues show these symptoms, regardless of who they have travelled and who they have been in contact with, they should go home and self-isolate. Other colleagues do not have to leave work immediately but should monitor any symptoms they develop and comply with NHS requests to be tested. Retailers need to be aware of these simple steps.”
He also said the ACS was working with the government to ease delivery and driver hours restrictions to help maintain consistent supply in the event of staff absences. On Monday the government said it would work with local authorities to extend delivery hours for food retailers.
Meanwhile, c-store retailers are meeting the needs of their shoppers during the health crisis, be it through home deliveries or rationing to ensure supplies do not run out.
Mo Razzaq, owner of Family Shopper Blantyre in Scotland, said he had been able to keep stock available due to the store’s one pack/ one item policy.
“Thank God someone has done this as things have got out of control,” one customer wrote on Facebook.
Meet & Deep News in Twikenham, South West London, wrote on Facebook: “For anyone in the Twickenham green area… if you are elderly, house bound or have self-isolated and need any essential… give us a shout or send a FB message and one of my sons will bring some stuff over!”
Lowman added: “Convenience stores are located in more communities than any other type of business, serving villages, towns, housing estates and high streets. We will continue to provide food, essential services and a community hub.”
Free fuel pump hand-protection dispensers
UK forecourts can now offer hand-protection dispensers at the fuel pump free-of-charge, following a move by UK manufacturer GripHero.
The move enables UK forecourts to provide hand protection to customers on every fuel pump handle and refuelling bay, “playing a vital role” in the battle against coronavirus, which has the ability to survive for over 24 hours on high touchpoint surfaces, including fuel pump handles, according to GripHero.
Oli Yeo, inventor and managing director of GripHero Ltd, said: “When drivers cough or sneeze, they spread small droplets of mucus onto the steering wheel and their hands, which can easily be passed on to thousands of other users via fuel pump handles.
“Given this fact, the forecourt sector has a very real responsibility to protect its customers, minimising the potential for the contraction of coronavirus at the pump, while motorists should be encouraged to wear hand-protection each and every time they refuel.”
Read the ACS guidance here.