Earlier this week, the business secretary, Alok Sharma, confirmed that non-essential shops in England can open from Monday 15th June; welcome news to the British luxury sector.
Since the outbreak of Coronavirus, Walpole has been consulting with members on their plans to reopen and measures they intend to put into place to ensure the safety of employees and customers alike. Just as the UK's luxury sector is comprised of a broad variety of businesses, each with their own unique offering and brand DNA, so the response to reopening is equally bespoke. However, there are guidelines from the government which are a solid foundation for business to follow as they prepare for the restart.
As many businesses operate more than one type of workplace, such as an office, factory and retail space, it may be necessary to use more than one of these guides to determine how to keep people safe:
5 steps to working safely - Practical actions for businesses to take
Shops - Guidance for people who work in or run shops, branches, stores or similar environments
Offices and contact centres - Guidance for people who work in or run offices, contact centres and similar indoor environments
Factories, warehouses and plants - Guidance for people who work in or run factories warehouses and plants
Further guidance on different work place environments can be found here.
Beyond the practical measures needed for reopening, luxury businesses may face a great deal of complexity around managing employees' return to work. International law firm and, Walpole strategic partner, Mishcon de Reya has created several invaluable resources on their Coronavirus Hub which can be accessed below:
COVID-19: FAQs for employers
Back to the Workplace: Part I
Back to the Workplace: Part II – Practical Steps and Enablers
Finally, Walpole members can request a recording of the latest webinar double bill with Fortnum's CEO Ewan Venters and Mishcon de Reya's Amy Brown.
Taking the lead | Ewan Venters, CEO of Fortnum & Mason, on destination shopping in the age of socially distanced retail
The Piccadilly icon Fortnum & Mason re-opened its doors on 21st May. With three weeks of socially-distanced destination shopping under Fortnum’s belt, what can Walpole members learn from Fortnum’s post-Covid retail model? Join Fortnum's CEO Ewan Venters as he shares his recipe for re-igniting his customers' passion for the store, and why impeccable customer service is always at the heart of the Fortnum's promise.
Followed by: With retail starting to open up, what are some of the considerations luxury brands should have front of mind to ensure employees are working safely and effectively? Amy Brown, Employment Law Associate, Mishcon de Reya, shares her expertise on how to get teams safely off furlough and back into the workplace.
Click HERE to request the recording.