Putting shoppers and associates first

Redefining retail environments during and after COVID-19


Retailers must take measures to ensure the health and safety of their shoppers and associates. This means understanding and reacting to a range of new norms now and into the foreseeable future.

  • Social distancing will be a fact of life, and accommodating customers and associates with a means to obtain it will become part of managing your brick & mortar environments.
  • Maintaining the highest possible level of hygiene, cleanliness and sanitation will be critical, both as a tangible undertaking and as something you communicate to your customers and associates.
  • Contact avoidance will become fundamental to in-store activity. This will require proper messaging as well as a new awareness during the path to purchase and customer experience.
  • Customers will want to avoid crowds and high-traffic areas, so retailers need to figure out ways to limit shoppers from congregating.

Miller Zell worked with many essential businesses during the quarantine and helped develop an evolving pathway out of necessity. Now, as all retailers prepare to reopen, there’s a need to pivot and innovate in ways that are specific to their brand while adopting new standards and reassuring customers and associates.

In this time of uncertainty, it has never been more important to communicate with clarity and kindness. Our initiatives and recommendations focus on satisfying informational needs and customer expectations at key touchpoints within branded environments.

If you haven’t started yet, it’s not too late. Miller Zell provides:

  • Floor graphics, posters and other in-store signage that indicate a 6-foot distance.
  • Customizable displays & signage to maximize visibility of urgent messaging.
  • Protective shields at points of service like cashier stations, pharmacy counters or teller windows.
  • Custom-branded hand sanitizer stations for retailers, restaurants and banks.
  • Self-checkout kiosks and other self-help stations.
  • Outdoor stencils to designate store policy or define areas.
  • Clear window and door signage to direct traffic and answer questions to ease the confusion and traffic of BOPIS.

healthy environments

Customers and associates must trust that stores are safe. That means retailers not only need to provide the tools that maintain a clean environment like hand sanitizers and personnel barriers, but also need to follow through with clear and supportive messaging. The communication needs to feel collaborative, imparting the idea that we are all in this together.

personal safety

Social distancing instructions, gloves and masks, protective screens, traffic flow control and an obsessive focus on hygiene are the new standards. Most customers will expect these measures for themselves and personnel. Research has shown that shoppers are grateful to retailers for taking these measures and increasingly angry and frustrated by those that don’t.

Office environments

Remember that it’s not only customers entering stores and restaurants. The workforce will begin to transition from remote arrangements back to the office. And just as health and safety measures must be in place for frontline workers, they also are needed in headquarters to support employees. The same tools and communications can be modified to protect desk workstations, meeting rooms and other crowded corporate environments.

Ready to guide, prepare and supply retailers, restaurants and bank branches, practically and strategically.

Whether it’s customized protective shields at points of service, floor graphics and posters that guide 6-foot social distancing, self-help stations that boost contact avoidance or signage that reducing traffic and crowding, Miller Zell is ready to help.

For more information, download an overview of how we can help during COVID-19

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