The director of Jeremy France Jewellers in Winchester has already made some plans and preparations for when the prime minister allows non-essential retailers to re-open, but she also hopes staff will get involved in the process too.
Harriet France tells Professional Jeweller: “Every desk space, workshop bench and process is being reviewed and I hope that the staff themselves will be able to offer suggestions for their own processes to ensure we can all safely work together.”
The director takes her responsibility to protect staff and customers very seriously, and believes it is her duty as a business owner to help prevent a second-wave of the virus.
“As business owners it is our responsibility to ensure staff understand the importance from distancing from each other as much as from the public,” France affirms. “We cannot afford to have one staff member get the virus and pass it to 50% of the team. A second peak in the virus could well come if our thoughts relax about distancing from those we know and are familiar with. We must remain aware and responsible for ourselves, our colleagues and our families.”
In recent weeks the director of the award-winning jewellery store has visited the boutique to reflect and plan for a return to work.
Like many other independents, work needs to be done to ensure the space can meet social distancing demands.
France shares: “In our main showroom downstairs we have four serving desks and a till area. Sadly they do not comply with social distancing. We will be re-arranging desks and removing two, allowing two seating areas and the till. All these spaces will have screens to protect interactions between customers and staff.”
The independent jeweller also plans to give staff their own pen and loupe, whilst wipes will be on hand for the team to clean iPads, price books, ring sizers etc after every use.
Customers will be also be offered antibac gel or use of the customer bathroom to wash their hands when they enter the store and start their enquiry.
Antibac gel and surface wipes will be spread around the store allowing regular cleaning.
Outside of the shop floor, Jeremy France Jewellers has made changes to the staff room and workshops.
France shares: “I have had to move where staff have lunch to the board/training room to ensure space can be created between them when eating, and we will ensure that lunches are spread out so everyone can eat at a distance.
“There is a lot to consider and I doubt we’ll get everything right first try but I plan to have a lot of processes changed and advised on prior to our return.”