Footwear retailer Kurt Geiger will quarantine shoes for 24 hours after customers try them on as part of plans to reopen up to 20 stores next month.
Customers will be asked to put on disposable ‘pop socks’ and use antibacterial hand sanitiser before trying on shoes to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Items which have been handled will then be quarantined for 24 hours before returning to the shop floor for another customer to purchase, the retailer said.
Any products returned to stores including handbags, shoes and accessories, will also be handled with disposable gloves and won’t return to shelves for 24 hours.
The strict measures are part of a ‘carefully planned and phased’ reopening of up to 20 Kurt Geiger stores from June 1, which were closed amid the coronavirus crisis in March.
The retailer plans to open more than a dozen branches across Britain after carrying out a health and safety assessment, as per the government requirements.
Footwear retailer Kurt Geiger will quarantine shoes for 24 hours after customers try them on using disposable pop socks as it plans to reopen around 20 stores by June 1
Pictured: Chief executive Neil Clifford, who gave up his £500,000-a-year pay until his stores open again after the coronavirus threat
New safety measures also include introducing a maximum capacity in stores, with only one customer allowed inside per 15 square metres of space.
Those who wish to enter a Kurt Geiger store will also be asked to queue outside, with two-metre social distancing enforced at all times.
The store added it would erect perspex screens at till points and will only accept card payments. Surfaces, such as chip and PIN readers, will be cleaned throughout opening hours.
Kurt Geiger confirmed frequent hand washing will be encouraged, with antibacterial hand gel available throughout the store.
All employees will wear protective gloves and face masks whilst serving customers, with PPE provided to staff by the company.
It will cost the brand upwards of £75,000 more per store this year to put these new measures in place, the company said.
Chief executive Neil Clifford, who gave up his £500,000-a-year pay until his stores open again after the coronavirus threat, said health and safety is his ‘number one priority’
‘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,’ he said.
Pictured: Signs inside the store asking customers to stay two-metres apart, ready for when the retailer reopens to customers
The brand plans to reopen between 10 and 20 stores in an initial phase after carrying out a health and safety assessment, as per the government requirements
‘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.’
The measures follow similar safety precautions announced by Waterstones this week, which said it would place books handled by customers under a 72-hour quarantine.
The bookseller will ask shoppers to set aside any book they touch on trolleys which will then be ‘wheeled away’ and left alone for three days, Harry Wallop reported.
Chief executive James Daunt said: ‘We will still have tables displaying books, but we will have systems in place to ensure books that are browsed do not remain on sale.
‘We will ask customers that pick up a book to put it down on a trolley that we can then wheel away. I think customers will find that easy to understand. Book customers are very nice people, who behave well. I can’t imagine we will a problem with this.’
Department store John Lewis is also considering placing clothing tried on by customers into quarantine when it reopens after the Covid-19 crisis, the Telegraph reported.
These items would be temporarily stored away from the shop floor if customers try them on but don’t purchase them.
Bosses at John Lewis are also considering using professional garment steamers to kill germs before clothes are placed back on shelves, it was reported.