As restrictions are being slowly lifted across the US, many stores are getting prepared to open their doors – however, this time will be different as they will have to adjust to a new normal of customer service. Even though social distancing is becoming a very prominent method of mitigating the spread of the virus, according to some retailers, it is not enough.
Many stores, including H&M, Primark, and Footlocker are looking at more technologically-advanced ways of keeping consumers safe, while maintaining store cleanliness. Some of these stores are in the process of installing PeopleCount, which consists of cameras mounted on store entrances which will keep count of how many shoppers have entered the building.
Once the store reaches the allowable capacity, the building’s automatic doors will lock, thus preventing additional shoppers from entering. In the meantime, shoppers eagerly awaiting to enter the store will be able to see whether or not the building has reached maximum capacity, and then traffic signals will instruct them to proceed accordingly.
As if that wasn’t Orwellian enough for you, Amazon, along with Whole Foods, are in the midst of developing UV light-blasting robots. These robots will be deployed in stores and directed onto high-traffic surfaces such as food containers and handles to kill potential coronavirus contamination. As consumers will be itching to spend their $1,200 stimulus checks (this is likely not going to happen given the current unemployment rate and soaring income inequality in the US- but retailers can dream, can’t they?), this new store safety technology will have to become the new reality.
Information for this briefing was found via Retail Brew. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.