Window shopping is the new shopping, and service is the new norm
How to safely shop for clothes in a post-lockdown world
The news that Ontario retailers can open their doors again after a two-month shutdown is something to celebrate.... cautiously.
As an independent retailer in a small city, we’re proud of how we’ve rolled with the pandemic punches. We’ve had to completely rethink how we do business ... but hey, we’re alive!
So: Woo hoo! We’re going to see you soon.
Still. It’s going to take some time getting used to touchless shopping. This blog post is designed to update you on the measures we’re taking to protect staff and customers, and what you can expect when you shop at our bricks-and-mortar store.
We’re excited to have our Resonance staffers back! When we reopen on May 19, they’ll be wearing fabric masks and sanitizing their hands after each interaction. And they’ll maintain physical distance — with customers and each other.
Even as the province has okayed in-store service for clothing retailers, we know that some people may not be ready for that. So we’ll be prepared to assist cautious customers who prefer to shop from the sidewalk.
We learned during the lockdown that our windows are very inspiring! Even during the shutdown, Cindy visited the store to create uplifting new outfits, and we found that everything that appeared in the windows soon sold out in our webstore.
In light of that, when weather permits, we’ll place rolling racks of window finds outdoors. A staff member will be available to provide assistance. On request, they’ll bring out other items, and can also accept payment in our outer vestibule.
Though curbside customers won’t be able to try on before purchasing, they’ll have three days — unless other arrangements are made — to return their purchase for a refund or exchange.
To limit the number of people in our store, we’ll be allowing customers to make appointments for in-store shopping. No more than six people, up to three staff members and three customers, will be in the space at the same time.
Customers can book appointments online by using the drop down selection found under Appointments in our main menu bar, or by calling the shop at 519 273 6617, or on a drop-in basis as availability allows.
We hope to be able to accommodate drop-in traffic during breaks between appointments. But we are committed to a capacity of six people, so we may request that drop-ins wait until capacity allows.
To manage capacity, we expect to keep our doors locked. Please knock to find out if there is immediate capacity. If we’re full, we’ll estimate your wait time.
Two of our three main change rooms will be available, with the middle one closed to provide space between customers. Our smaller room near the back of the store is also available.
We will frequently sanitize surfaces, change rooms, and payment devices.
After clothes have been tried on, or purchased and returned, we will hold them in a separate place until they can be steam cleaned. Customers can try on these clothes before they are re-steamed, but at their own risk.
Though steaming of fabrics has not been thoroughly tested as a means of killing the coronavirus on clothing, high temperature steam has been shown to kill viruses in laboratories, so we will be taking this measure.
What you can do
Here's how you can participate in our effort to create a safe and comfortable environment for our staff and customers:
We ask that you sanitize with our sanitizer when you enter our space. Please avoid handling your phone and keys after you have sanitized.
Our staff will be masked, and we'll have masks available for you if you wish to wear one.
Please maintain a hockey-stick's distance with staff and other customers.
Obviously, if you are sick, please don’t come!
Our washroom will not be available to customers.
Due to our capacity measures, other people may be waiting to enter the store while you are inside. When others are waiting, please try to keep your visit to a reasonable time limit and consider exiting the store if you're waiting for a friend rather than shopping.
Service is our strength
We’re focused on keeping shoppers safe. That means we’ll be providing attentive, one-on-one customer service. We’re excited about that! Our staff is amazing at helping people build wardrobes that work for their bodies and their budgets.
The new normal may be a challenge for customers who, in the past, have preferred to browse on their own. But we see this as an opportunity to deepen relationships. In a post-lockdown world, we hope that retail customers will become accustomed to being served — as opposed to being sold — when they’re in a clothing store.
There’s a huge difference between service and sales. Our mantra is: “Helpful, but never pushy.” That’s why we think Resonance is perfectly poised to assist people as they find new ways to shop for clothes in a post-lockdown world.
We can’t wait to Resonate with you ... from a safe distance!