As one of the UK’s leading cleaning companies, with a dedicated retail cleaning arm, we are delighted to have supported the successful re-opening of client retail sites in recent weeks as restrictions have been eased by governments throughout the UK.
A Thank You to the GSA Team
We’d like to kick off our latest blog with a massive shout-out to our hard-working and dedicated teams up and down the country, who have worked tirelessly to support the retail re-launch. Thank you!
A Staggered Re-opening
It has been a staggered re-opening of retail across the UK; with shoppers in England & Wales getting the first access to ‘non-essential’ shops on April 12. Scotland followed on, from 26 April, and Northern Ireland from 30 April. The re-opening of non-essential stores in Ireland has yet to be confirmed although it is expected to be sometime in May.
Whilst it is too early to comment on the long-term recovery of retail from the COVID-enforced store closures and the growth of many retailers online shopping platforms, the initial green shoots of recovery are positive and welcomed by retailers, large and small.
Queues – A Positive Sign
News outlets have carried stories since April 12 of customers queuing ‘round the block’ – to get back to shopping in stores. Primark, who closed their stores and chose not to develop an online platform like many other retailers, has reported record sales across England and Wales which accounts for c.40% of the company’s selling space.* Other leading retailers, such as M&S, Next and IKEA have also enjoyed positive starts.
The Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) also announced that “shops, bars and restaurants have had a good week” and welcomed the news that customers have come out to support retailers and hospitality too.**
Safety Remains Retail’s Top Priority
Keeping us all safe has remained the number one priority for retailers, with the retail sector investing heavily in signage, safety screens, queueing management systems that prevent COVID-19 transmission.
GSA Digital Cleans
Enhanced cleaning schedules have played a crucial role for retail, as they prepared to re-open, and to provide ongoing reassurances to staff and customers, of a safe, clean working and shopping environment.
Gary Strachan, GSA’s UK Operations Director explained,
“GSA has worked in partnership with our clients across thousands of sites, to successfully ready them for re-opening. Our flexibility – with change being the only constant in the current retail landscape – has been welcomed by our clients. Our commitment to ‘make every hour count’ too allows us to deliver best value for every client; strengthened and evidenced by our client reporting systems.”
Lisa Laird, Managing Director of GSA added,
“GSA has close to 25 years’ experience of retail cleaning, and this has given us an intrinsic understanding of the concerns and challenges our retail customers have faced during the pandemic, and as restrictions have eased for the sector.
Our investment in innovative digital cleaning solutions has been paramount to the successful delivery of flexible cleaning schedules that deliver confidence of a safe and clean environment for returning staff and customers. Client access to GSA’s dynamic reporting for each of their sites has further enhanced their confidence in our approach.”
To find out more about GSA’s tailored digital cleaning solutions for retail, email us today for an informal chat with one of the team.
*Business Live, 20 April