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Retailers take steps to maintain social distancing

Hans India 2020-03-24 23:16:27

New Delhi: Big retailers, which are presently dispensing only essential items amid the lockdown, are taking precautionary measures like restricted entry and marked lines to maintain social distancing to avoid coronavirus infection at their stores.

Some stores as Reliance Fresh, More, Walmart and Metro Cash & Carry are even screening body temperature of their customers before allowing them entry into the store. Metro Cash & Carry India said it is pre-packing loose commodities to avoid infection at its stores and is ensuring plenty of cash tills and mobile checkouts to reduce the billing time. It has also introduced a token system to avoid large gathering at stores.

Several retailers like Future, DMart, and Walmart have marked special lines on their shop floors to maintain social distancing. They are also regularly sanitising the stores and disinfecting all touchpoints which include trolly and basket handles. "We are managing the queue in such a way that people are standing away from each other," Avenue Supermarts CEO and Managing Director Neville Noronha said.

Avenue Supermarts that runs D-Mart stores, is handing out coloured coupons to its customers waiting outside in the open area and then allowing entry of a particular colour at a time as part of its crowd management plan. "We are calling out the colour as yellow, green and then 20 to 30 people are walking inside the store. When these people out from the store, then we call the next colour," said Noronha.

Metro Cash & Carry MD & CEO Arvind Mediratta said: "We have initiated a token system to manage the customers and avoid a large gathering inside the store. The tokens are properly sanitized with disinfectants and then handed over to customers".

Walmart India, which operates in cash & carry format, has also marked lines and is only permitting one person per membership card. "We have marked the floors of our Best Price stores with yellow stripes and boxes to designate enough space for each member to maintain safe distance from each other," said a Walmart India spokesperson.

He further said: "The stores are also equipped with contactless thermometers for conducting temperature checks. Entry is barred for those detected with fever and high-touch surfaces of our stores are being regularly cleaned with disinfectant."