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Re-starting your business
guidance for retail

With ongoing Covid restrictions across the UK your business may have needed to change the way it operates or even been closed for extended periods of time. 
Further to the 10 things to consider when restarting your business, there is specific guidance for retail businesses.


  • The need for careful and clear communication with suppliers specific to goods-in delivery arrangements, including timings, avoiding contact and arrangements for social distancing.
  • Scheduling goods-in deliveries to avoid the potential for overcrowding in deliveries areas and interaction with customers.
  • Considering the potential for non-contact goods-in deliveries.
  • Limiting those involved in loading and unloading, and where more than one person is needed, using the same pairs
  • Establishing safe working procedures for customer deliveries and / or click and collect services, where offered, considering relevant online ordering, social distancing, protective equipment, face coverings, cleaning, disinfection, sanitisation (including vehicles) and hygiene. Additional information specific to managing your vehicle fleet can be found on our re-starting guidance for fleets
  • Providing adequate and suitable welfare facilities for employees and visiting drivers, including areas for safely changing and storing clothing and personal protective equipment (where overalls and other personal protective equipment provided, laundry arrangements and provision should be specifically reviewed).
  • Consider providing cleaning stations at entrance and exit points and other strategic locations with signage to remind customers and employees of the importance of washing hands and hygiene.
  • Establish cleaning, disinfection and sanitisation procedures for trolleys and baskets used by customers, and trolleys / cages used by employees for carrying stock.
  • Ensure regular cleaning of touch points including door handles, lift buttons, keypads, stair and escalator handrails etc.
Specific considerations may include:
  • Reviewing opening / closing procedures including designated time slots for more vulnerable customers.
  • Online booking of time slots for customers to shop at your premises..
  • Limiting the number of entry and exit points, and having separate entry and exit points if possible. 
  • Limiting the number of customers allowed within the premises at any time. 
  • Providing a customer facing social distancing coordinator near entry points to highlight the social distancing requirements and control the numbers entering the premises at any one time. It may be appropriate for this coordinator to have a security remit and be SIA registered.
  • Providing clear signage outside and inside of the premises to explain the social distancing measures that customers should follow.
  • Limiting customer contact with merchandise where practical, for example using protected displays and signage to remind customers of the implications of picking up and putting down merchandise (only touch what you intend to purchase signage for example).
  • Providing markings and signage to assist with queue spacing requirements both inside and outside of the premises, taking into account traffic management and pedestrian segregation.
  • Encouraging customers to shop / attend the premises alone, if practical.
  • Providing appropriately marked one-way systems to help maintain social distancing.
  • Making regular in-store announcements reminding customers of social distancing and hygiene expectations.
  • Encouraging cashless purchase.
  • Using tools such as social media, websites and apps to inform customers of policies and procedures relevant to social distancing, hygiene etc., including specific reference to any of the usual services not available.
  • Providing a no-contact returns procedure.
  • Encouraging drivers to stay in their vehicles where this doesn’t compromise their safety and existing safe working practice (e.g. prevention of drive-aways).
  • Remind customers and employees to wear face coverings where appropriate and required by law.


  • Liaising with nearby / proximate premises to assist with possible shared parking and queue spacing areas.
  • Installing physical barriers / screens at till / checkout etc. areas.  Barriers must be subject to appropriate cleaning, disinfection and sanitisation.
  • Closing some till / checkout points to assist with social distancing, this being particularly relevant where till / checkout points are close together.
  • Limiting numbers (to one at a time) using lifts and limiting escalator use.
  • Re-stocking outside of operating hours to reduce congestion within retail / sales areas.
  • Provision and maintenance of suitable ventilation.
  • Removing promotional stands to reduce the potential for customers accumulating in specific areas.
  • Closing changing room areas unless you can have an employee oversee social distancing arrangements.
  • Removing customer seating.
  • Removing or closing (should be cornered off) any children’s play equipment, play areas or crèche areas for example. 
  • Stopping any other services where direct interaction could be a feature, for example nail-bars, make-up application, personnel shoppers, packing etc.
  • Closing cafés and restaurants subject to the provision of additional guidance and advice from government and other relevant trade bodies.
  • Ensuring regular rotation of high-touch stock / merchandise.
  • Establishing pick-up and drop-off collection points to reduce the need to pass products from hand-to-hand.
  • Removing/ restricting of touch points in staff areas where practical i.e. vending machines and other canteen equipment for general employee use.
  • Establishing procedures and safe systems of work specific to machinery interventions such as cleaning, servicing, maintenance and repair.
  • Continued support (practical and well-being) for any employees who continue to work from home. 
masked shopper

The risk management information and guidance provided herein is not intended to be advice for any specific requirements.

Readers should seek further advice when dealing with their individual and particular situations. Allianz Insurance plc shall have no liability for any action taken as a result of and in reliance on the information contained in this document. The information contained in this document is correct at date of going to print and may be subject to change at any time.  All rights reserved