Shopping is not always a luxury but a necessity too. Owing to this pandemic, Malls and shopping centres have taken extensive steps towards making the premises safe.

Many malls and High-streets are working on several measures to promote safety and kickstart withheld shopping sprees. With appropriate measures such as social distancing and thorough sanitization, it appears to be safer in shopping and eating out again. On speaking about going to the malls again, a female shopper Suchi Desai, said,” I am slightly worried about the COVID-19 and its after-effects, but I can’t wait to shop like before. The happiness of roaming in malls, trying and buying new things is nonpareil and it can’t be felt shopping online on a couch.”

Even in tier-2 cities, operators have geared up in taking up all the necessary precautions during these tough times. One of the industrial hubs of Gujarat – Vapi, which is surrounded by Surat, Mumbai and Daman, houses a commercial shopping centre – Galaxy High Street, owned and operated by Arete Group. The Arete management has fastened their belts to prepare not only to provide shoppers with a delightful shopping experience but an experience that will ensure customers safety as they train their staff as corona warriors taking top-level measures to ensure virus-free zone in complex simultaneously providing you with a brilliant and fear-free shopping experience as per Virender Kumar, Marketing Head of Arete Group, who talked about their preparedness at the shopping centre – Galaxy High Street. 

The New Normal In Post-Pandemic Era

Keeping in view the upheaval in the world, owing to this pandemic, Galaxy High Street, Vapi has taken extensive steps towards making the premise a safe place for shopping and dining. To maintain social distancing, retail outlets are working at limited staff capacity with constant use of face mask and hand gloves by the staff along with mandatory temperature check in the morning. The staff maintains a minimum 6 feet distance inside the retail store as well as in the premises. Exhaustive cleaning and sanitization of entire place especially touchpoints such as doorknobs, chairs, tables, handrails, benches, washroom fixtures, etc. are frequently carried out to achieve safety and preparedness for everyone’s well-being.

The working staff has been briefed about their responsibilities and they have done mock drills for various situations on the premises. There are designated teams appointed for inspection of the measures frequently. The team will go around the centre to ensure people are maintaining social distancing, are wearing a mask and following other norms to keep the virus at bay. In-stores sitting is only allotted at special dedicated places so that a proper social distancing can be achieved. Also, proper marking ensures that people don’t sit on the seats that are meant to be remained empty due to social distancing measures.

Ms Prachi Srivastav customary shopper at GHS added,” I buy some stuff online, but prefer to try on the outfits and footwear where someone guides me on the specifications. I really appreciate the High Street management for taking up all necessary safety pre-cautions especially setting up Sanitization stations at designated places like entrances, elevators as well as stores cash counter alongwith limiting the number of customers at each floor providing ease of shopping. The best thing is I can safely shop from a plethora of Brands at single place. “

Implementing Social Distancing

Virender Kumar added, “Before re-opening our high-street, we kept 3 priorities in mind: Protecting our people, serving our customers in a secured environment, and helping the community against Covid-19 by working towards the preparedness and mitigating challenges to be faced in the post-pandemic era. We love the word ‘distance’. Our team continuously gauges that everyone is following social distancing norms so that others’ safety is intact. Not only is it mandatory to wear a facemask inside the premises, but hand sanitization is of utmost importance. At various entry points, our staff will make sure that your hands get sanitized before entering the premises along with proper thermal screening of each individual.

There are strict instructions to security on prohibitions of Group gatherings of more than 5 people. Roaming in the campus / common area without any purpose is not allowed.  All the 30+ national and international brands including Westside, Only, Global Desi, Vero Moda, Pizza Hut, Apple Store etc. housed in Galaxy High Street are taking utmost care inside their store and following the new normal guidelines.”

Shopping Sprees after normalcy prevails

On spreading awareness, Galaxy High Street, Vapi has installed signages with the guidelines and illustrations to provide awareness about the pandemic. Audio visuals of precautionary measures and regular updates are shared on their social media channels and on website as well.  Due to the vastness of the place they have developed a convenient customer check-in app for contact tracing which just requires customer’s name and contact details. They ensure that all their customers strictly abide by all norms for everyone to have a delightful and hassle-free shopping experience. The steps taken will definitely promote safe shopping and comfortable experience among the visitors until we all get over the fear.

We hope that the vaccine is out soon and that normalcy prevails. Everyone wishes to go out again without fear which was once normal, now with added responsibility. While shopping centres and malls are doing their best to help buyers enjoy their shopping sprees as soon as they can, everyone needs to be careful about their safety.

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