12/06/2020 - Permalink

Advice to retailers – alternative ways to trade to reduce the spread of COVID-19

Related topics: Coronavirus / Economic growth / Health / Public protection

Shropshire Council’s Trading Standards service have issued important advice for local retailers on the various measures they can take to allow them to safely resume trading to minimise risks to staff and customers.

The Government introduced legislation and provided guidance requiring businesses selling non-essential goods to close their doors in March in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

As lockdown restrictions ease, most retail businesses have now been given the green light to re-open over the coming weeks. However, many are continuing to consider other ways to trade in order to increase their economic viability.

The full guidance, which can be accessed via the Shropshire Council website, covers additional consumer rights that retailers need to consider as well as compliance with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. There are also best practice tips for the use of:

  • distance selling
  • own deliveries
  • click and collect
  • couriers

The new guidance was produced by the Council’s Trading Standards service, in conjunction with health and safety experts in Regulatory Services.

Frances Darling, Trading Standards and Licensing Operations Manager for the Council said:

“The recent announcement by the Government further easing the lockdown restrictions for retail premises is welcomed by the Council; however, retailers must take responsibility for helping to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 and ensure the way they operate is ‘COVID-19 secure’.   

“One of the ways to do this is to consider alternative trading methods, such as home deliveries and ‘click & collect’, which will help to reduce the number of people who physically shop in premises, and at the same time help businesses improve their economic recovery.  This will allow the retail experience for those who do need or want to shop in store to be safe, and also provide a more relaxed environment by allowing customers to comply with social distancing measures more effectively.” 

Gwilym Butler, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for communities, place planning and regulatory services, said:

“The protection of the health and safety of the public remains our number one priority, but everyone has a responsibility, and now that retailers are being permitted to re-open, these businesses must also ensure they take the right steps to protect their employees and customers.

“It is crucial that business owners take responsibility and open only if they are satisfied that they can protect their staff and customers from the spread of COVID-19.  We have highly knowledgeable and skilled staff who are happy and able to help retailers and the public with any concerns they may have.  If you need to speak with us, please get in touch.  We are here to help.” 

For specific advice on how to trade safely, comply with distance selling requirements or any other regulatory trading matters during the COVID-19 crisis, please contact Shropshire Council at advicecompliance@shropshire.gov.uk or 0345 678 9067 (select option 3).

For more information about support available to your business, visit the COVID-19 section on the Shropshire Council website.