Capacity limits on retail establishments seem all over the map, depending on geography and type of store. Some grocery stores self-limit to 40% of occupancy, some states are dictating 50% of occupancy, other states dictate a number of people per square feet. Regardless, if you are a larger store, you need to comply with local guidelines, and to-date it looks like that means placing a store employee at the door and manually managing the situation – once you reach capacity, it’s one shopper allowed in for every shopper leaving. But how long will this continue, and will you, the retailer, continue to pay upwards of $150 per day to manage it? The limited capacity is already a strain on sales, let alone the shoppers who – like me – see the long line and u-turn back home or worse, visit a less popular store up the street.
Complying with your capacity limit can best be met using IoT. LNL Systems’ Capacity Alert will count shoppers in-and-out, sending alerts based on pre-set limits. Alerts can go to store associates two-way radios, android or iOS devices, PA systems, IP speakers, etc. and can also turn an entry light red or green for shopper notification. Integrate to your web site and now shoppers can visit you online to gauge if now is a good time to visit, or if its better to wait for capacity to reach a lower limit.
The consensus is that, while we are moving in a positive direction, capacity at public gatherings will need to be limited for the foreseeable future. For large format retailers, this is best managed via an automated, value-added IoT solution, vs. having a masked store associate standing outside all day.
The National Retail Federation has created a state-by-state map that outlines coronavirus-related laws, executive orders, regulations and guidance governing store reopening for retailers and it’s accessible to non-members for a limited time.
This resource is a part of Operation Open Doors – Path to Reopen Retail. The initiative, led by NRF and Seyfarth LLP, is providing guidance and tools that NRF members can use as they navigate opening stores after this international health crisis.
For more information about Capacity Alert call 1.800.343.1750 or visit Barcodedirect.com
By Pete Grimes
VP of Sales & Marketing
Bar Code Direct
Pete has 25+ years of experience providing retail and supply chain enterprise mobile computing solutions.