Kurt Geiger has become the latest British fashion retailer to reveal its lockdown exit strategy, with customers expected to be permitted to shop in stores from the start of June.
Following the latest government advice, Kurt Geiger said it would undertake a “carefully planned and phased reopening” of its stores from June 1, and will include new rules such as shoes that are tried on but not purchased being quarantined for 24 hours.
The retailer said its reopening strategy were subject to government changes around lockdown easing.
It said it planned to reopen between 10-20 stores in the initial phase following an official risk assessment as per government requirements.
In order to protect its customers and staff and keep all stores Covid-secure, Kurt Geiger unveiled new health and safety procedures that staff and customers must to adhere to.
The retailer said these procedures are expected to cost the business an additional £75,000 per store this year.
“Whilst we are obviously very keen to re-open our stores and return to serving our customers across the country, the health and safety of our teams and customers is our number one priority,” Kurt Geiger chief executive Neil Clifford said.
“As such, we will implement new health and safety procedures in all reopened stores which adhere to government guidelines and still allow for an enjoyable shopping experience.”
Kurt Geiger’s new health and safety procedures include only allowing one customer in per 161sq ft of space, which is double the government guidelines, along with the standard availability of hand sanitisers, two-metre physical distancing and queues to limit in-store customer numbers.
The retailer added that anti-viral cleaning solutions will be used continually throughout the day to clean all surfaces to the “highest standards”, as well as perspex screens at all cash desks and enforcing card-only payments.
When it comes to customers trying on Kurt Geiger’s range of shoes, they will be asked to wear disposable pop-socks provided by the retailer or their own socks, sanitisers will be compulsory, and all shoes that have been tried on will go into quarantine for 24 hours before another customer can try them on.
Meanwhile, all customer returns will be handled with disposable gloves and this returned stock will not be available for resale for at least 24 hours.
All store teams will have also health and safety considerations to follow, such as wearing protective gloves and face masks whilst serving customers and providing them with PPE.
Kurt Geiger’s reopened stores will feature include “We Are One” tote bags and t-shirts available to buy in-store and online, with 100 per cent of profits going to the NHS.
The retailer said it aims to raise £1 million by the end of the year through the sale of these bags and t-shirts.
The retailer said the 50 per cent discount for NHS, emergency and social care workers along with members of the armed forces will still be available for the rest of the year.
Clifford has also suspended his salary while still continuing to pay his staff’s salaries during the pandemic.
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