Cambridge Retail Advisors’ Store Restart Guide Offers Retailers a Detailed Task List to Quickly and Safely Reopen Stores Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

Boston, MA – July 6, 2020 – Retailers are eager to reopen stores and recapture the lost sales from being closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. As many states and local governments ease restrictions on stores, retailers need to rapidly and safely reopen their stores in areas that have removed restrictions. Cambridge Retail Advisors has created a detailed “Store Restart Guide” that outlines everything retailers need to do to reopen stores quickly and safely.

“As retailers prepare to reopen stores in the COVID-19 pandemic environment, there are many details to consider to ensure a safe and swift reopening,” said John Rohland, vice president at Cambridge Retail Advisors. “Post COVID-19, many consumers may be reluctant to shop in crowded stores and retailers need to ensure they prepare a safe shopping environment and find creative ways to inspire consumers to visit their stores.”

The Store Restart Guide is organized in easy to follow steps, including:

  • Review State and Local Government Guidelines

Each state and some counties will have different guidelines and timing for reopening non-essential stores. Understanding government guidelines and restrictions is essential to developing a plan that adheres to the new rules. 

  • Prepare Physical Store Infrastructure and Services

After being closed for one to two months, it is imperative to validate the condition of the property and the proper functioning of all utilities, network services, and security systems. In addition, there are many routine services that need to be rescheduled.

  • Rehire and Train Employees

Identify the staff levels needed for the initial reopening of your stores and reengage your team. If employees have been furloughed or laid off, they will need to be rehired. Once onboard, all employees will need to be properly trained on the new policies and procedures.

  • Establish Store Sanitization and Social Distancing Processes and Policies

Based on mandated and recommended guidelines, establish sanitation and social distancing processes for employees and customers. A thorough sanitation of the entire store before reopening and proper signage for new social distancing are key elements to ensuring the safest environment possible.

  • Test and Prepare Store and Corporate Technology

Store and corporate systems that haven’t been running regularly for a month or two need to be tested and validated. Modifications may be needed to adjust for new return policies, pay rates, passwords, etc.

  • Review Inventory Management Status and Processes

The first step to ensuring inventory accuracy is to conduct a full store inventory cycle including the inspection of floor merchandise.  Engage your vendors and suppliers to determine if there are any changes in product availability, special order lead times, or delivery schedules. Purchase orders may need to be adjusted accordingly.

  • Communicate Store Openings and Policies to Customers

Once everything is ready for reopening, it is imperative to let customers know you are open with a comprehensive communications plan (website, email, social media, etc.).  It is also important to communicate store hours, if revised, and any new social distancing policies for your store.

To download the complete Store Restart Guide, visit:

About Cambridge Retail Advisors

Cambridge Retail Advisors (CRA) is an innovative and independent retail store and restaurant consulting firm dedicated to providing superior service and enduring value to our clients. CRA combines its consultants’ deep retail store and restaurant business knowledge and cross-functional capabilities to deliver and implement client specific strategy, technology, and process solutions. The firm’s unique combination of industry focus, knowledge-based approach, and rapid, end-to-end solution deployment helps clients to achieve their maximum business potential.

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