​Opinion: How social distancing can be ‘baked in’ to new store designs

Ace Drive Thru - Dubai

One-way systems, hygiene stations, duct tape on the floor. All of this adds up to just one thing – retailers doing what they can to make their stores safer places for those choosing to frequent them.

Most of what has now become familiar territory is to be found in supermarkets, where queuing prior to receiving a disinfected trolley is now the usual drill in almost every store that a shopper might care to visit.

The problem with all of this is that it can actually become too familiar. As a large swathe of UK retail prepares to reopen on June 15, there will inevitably be shoppers who begin to treat the precautions on offer with cavalier disregard.

But could things be done differently? Beyond retail, there are arenas where alternatives to ’the norm’ are being trialled – and there are also stores that have opened during the Covid-19 crisis where social distancing elements have been baked into the design template, rather than layered on retrospectively.

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