Boots is one of the stores that has been keeping the nation running during the coronavirus pandemic, supplying us with prescription medicine and daily essentials like hand soap and basic skincare. One thing you haven’t been able to access in person, however, is the hundreds of brands sold in the Boots beauty halls – but that’s all about to change.
From next week, the high street chain will begin to reopen these spaces, albeit with stringent safety measures in place.
Joanna Rogers, Trading director and VP of Beauty at Boots explains of the precautions: ”The health and wellbeing of our customers and colleagues will always be our first priority. We have explored just how our customers can enjoy our much-loved beauty halls and shop for the beauty brands they love with confidence, in a socially distant way.’
So what exactly will the new normal look like in your local Boots?
While existing PPE is in place for those already working in store, a new wave is being rolled out in the Boots beauty halls, including additional perspex screens to cover all counters, tills, self-checkouts and areas that have not been in used until now. All staff will continue to be supplied with protective items such as gloves and perspex visors.
Hand sanitising stations are being trialled throughout stores already, and these will continue to be available for both staff and customers. Key touch points will be cleaned regularly and thoroughly throughout the day.
All cosmetic testers have been removed to prevent cross-contamination. The beauty specialists on hand will be able to help with touch-free consultations if you want advice on the right product to suit you, but you won’t physically be able to swatch anything on your skin.
Testers will be reintroduced when it is physically safe to do so, and even then they won’t be in the aisles as they were previously. ‘[They] will be dispensed by a Beauty Advisor with strict hygiene and hand-washing measures in place. Perfumes will be spritzed onto an individual fragrance blotter, liquid foundations will be pumped into a disposable pot and powders will be swiped with a single-use sponge and placed into a disposable pot,’ Boots explains.
In line with measures that are probably already happening in your nearest branch, social distancing is being enforced, with clear markers on the floor to shop the appropriate distance when you’re moving around the store and when you’re queueing to pay.
Boots is also exploring the possibility of geo-targeted ads that will let customers know when their local store is less busy, so you can plan your trip to avoid the crowds.
‘I had lots of anxiety about what it would be like interacting with customers and walking around the shop floor but I feel better as the new measures are so visual – there’s 2-metre signs across the store, all the staff have the required PPE,’ says Boots Beauty Specialist Tia Samuels, who will be back to work next week. ‘This will really help to advise customers on the social distancing rules.’
‘I think people will be cautious but the new safety measures are so prominent that it’s reassuring. It will be nice for them to get back to some sort of normality and see our smiling faces. We’re always happy to help and advise, and although we may not be able to demonstrate products in the usual way we will always make sure that the customer has a positive shopping experience.’