Stores are planning to reopen, but that doesn’t mean things are going back to normal—Saks is mapping out what its stores will look like post-coronavirus—and the plan includes sales associates who will wear black masks while passing out bottles of hand sanitizer.
“We can’t pretend that everything is normal,” Saks president Marc Metrick said. “I don’t think people will be standing six feet from each other 18 months from now, but there will be an interim period when they want a sense of security about how we are taking steps to protect them.”
The new strategy centers on making customers feel safe, using everything from disposable cosmetics samples and contactless credit-card readers to virtual shopping services that connect sales associates with clients who are hunkered down at home.
Saks even plans to take their temperatures with thermometers daily and potentially communicate those results to shoppers. Additionally, sales associates and housekeeping staff will sanitize the store conspicuously in front of customers, not just during off hours. That includes wiping down doorknobs and seating surfaces before customers enter a dressing room. Of course, reusable samples will be eliminated.
Some issues that have yet to be addressed include how to handle clothing that customers have tried on and how to replace brushes and other tools that apply makeup. While the kinks are being ironed out, other retailers are expected to start outlining their own plans. It is unknown whether other companies like Macy’s will follow Saks’ post-coronavirus model.