Artem Beliaikin
Credit: Artem Beliaikin

July 1, 2020
Category: Blog Posts

COVID-19 Retail Etiquette

By Kayla Shapka

We’re all doing our best to keep up with COVID-19 protocols as stores reopen and things change quickly. When shopping at retailers, keep informed and stay open-minded. It’ll be a lot easier for everyone involved. Here are some tips on how to start shopping at your favourite Downtown retailer. 

Let your fingers do the washing
This one is a no-brainer. Sanitize your hands when entering a store. Most shops have sanitizer at the front door, but as a general rule, you should also carry some with you. Some Downtown stores, such as Kunitz Shoes*, have gone even further by installing a portable sink at the entrance so you can get a good scrubbing with soap and water before and after shopping.

Keep your distance
Social distancing is one of the key rules for COVID-19 and shopping is no exception. Dr. Hinshaw and store owners would be happy if you stay keep 2 metres apart. And if you’re in a mall or store, pay attention to the arrows, even if there’s no one around. We’ve all experienced that shock of someone heading at you in the wrong direction. At Edmonton City Centre, Shoppers Drug Mart, Sport Chek and many larger retailers have directional arrows on the floor. Some stores, especially smaller ones, will limit the number of people allowed in at a time. Tix on the Square only allows five, while The Helm maxes out at eight.

Check inventory first
Due to COVID-19, a lot of stores experience supply chain issues and not all product is available. Before you head out to the store, check online to see if the products you want are available. During lockdown, Shop Chop updated its website so that shoppers can view its inventory of plants, décor, home goods and other quirky bric-a-brac.

Hands off!
Try looking and not touching. Our instinct is to pick things up and look at them before we buy but to limit the spread of germs touch only the merchandise you’re interested in buying. At the recommendation of the Retail Council of Canada, many retailers have started putting labels on the outside of the product now, instead of the bottom. This way you don’t have to pick up that vase to find out how much it cost. Others are making small tent cards with the prices displayed prominently.  

Pay with plastic
If you’ve managed to make it to the till touching only the things you are buying, congrats! But there’s one last thing to do – pay for your goods. They say cash is king, but if you can, pay with debit or credit to reduce the spread of the virus. Most retailers and banks have raised their contactless limits on their machines so it’s easier than ever to tap your card and go.

 *The Downtown location of Kunitz Shoes is currently closed for in-store shopping due to COVID-19 precautions but will be reopening the week of July 6. Check their social media for updates. 

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