The National Association of Jewellers has launched a preliminary guide for jewellery retailers planning to re-open stores once lockdown measures are lifted.
Much of the guidance has been developed from ‘essential’ retailers and the BRC’s advice launched last week. However, the NAJ’s guidelines includes industry-specific advice on topics such as cleaning jewellery, trying on jewellery and security.
Under the section ‘task safety’, which covers many questions only relevant for jewellery retailers, the NAJ recommends the following:
As a jeweller you may choose to temporarily suspend services such as ear piercing and suspend or limit other activities that would require close interaction with customers.
Trying on Jewellery
If you decide to allow customers to try on jewellery in-store, the following advice should be considered:
- Limit the number and range of items available to try on.
- Ensure staff carry out a cleaning/disinfection programme prior to every customer approaching their work area. Clean everything beforehand.
- Ensure staff wear plastic/disposable gloves (not cotton) and if re-used, ensure they are cleaned and
disinfected. If you wish to use cotton gloves for the ‘look, place them under the plastic ones and change frequently, washing the gloves at at least 60C.
- Use social distancing to keep staff apart from customers and create procedures for handling jewellery to/from customers safely. One suggestion is to place specific items on a disposable pad, step back, and only then allow the customer to approach.
- Ensure staff wash hands thoroughly for 20 seconds between handling items passed between customer and staff. In accordance with the general guidance, no-one should touch their face after handling items.
- Each staff member should have their own loupe and pens, and other items which are traditionally ‘shared’. Jewellery should be cleaned before use, especially customer jewellery with loupes for example, given close interaction with face. You may source an alternative means of inspection, using a microscope for example.
- Review security procedures and, if changed, alert your insurer without delay.
- Consider security when allowing customers to try on jewellery as your staff will have to be 2m
away (lock door or perhaps do not allow try ons until after purchase (eg for those stores that
have no doors)).
- Consider passing things through a screen on a tray which is regularly cleaned between
customers but also distance away from the screen too.
- In Italy, jewellers are requesting that customers have to show their face outside the door before
they put their mask on and come inside the door due to security concerns. Other approaches
include showing ID to permit entry.
- It is common for jewellers in other countries out of lockdown to keep the door shut (if they have
one). That may be the only way to be sure you have only got the permitted number of people in
- All jewellery that the customer has touched must put into a cleaning/ disinfection process before being returned to the shop floor. Any jewellery you take in should also be cleaned thoroughly.
- Clean incoming customers own jewellery thoroughly with soap/water/ultrasonic as is appropriate for the jewellery type, Then package it.
- Most jewellery can be quickly cleaned in store with ethanol alcohol spray or wipes, but of course
it can’t be used on some gemstones such as opals, emeralds, coral and pearls. You may wish to
request that customers use hand sanitising gel before they are allowed to handle the jewellery
they are trying on to reduce risk.
- Don’t forget to also clean ring sizers and other tools etc when passing to and from customers as
- Ultrasonic machines and UV light boxes can also be used to clean jewellery. Ensure the system you use actually kills the virus – check with product manufacturer.
Further research is being conducted on cleaning jewellery with regards to tasks such as changing
watch batteries, optimum levels for ultrasonic machines and other products which offer disinfection.