Retailers are opening their doors again during the pandemic to customers who have appointments.
Some states have let businesses reopen while traversing new guidelines meant to weigh the rejuvenation of the economy with the potential risk of making the health crisis more acute.
Call it the end of the walk-ins. At least for now.
In Colorado, Blush Beauty Bar opened for appointments again, marking the first occasion that clients have been able to enter the business in nearly 50 days. Its staffers were reportedly fully booked and will stay that way up to the conclusion of May, according to a report in The New York Times. (One of its clients had scheduled an appointment seven months before.)
The company, for its part, has a new process for keeping customers safe. All individuals have to don a mask, and stylists have to wear rubber gloves. Its physical layout had been changed, with the counter moved to let clients be six feet apart, and the seating area was taken away.
At Equinox, club members won’t have the ability to go for a workout at any time as part of the fitness chain’s reopening plan, per Fox Business. Instead, trips to the gym will have to be booked through the company’s app and restricted to three hour-and-a-half appointments weekly.
Additionally, a half-hour break will take place between group classes for cleaning. Fitness classes, such as Pilates, as well as personal training, will be reserved only for enrolled members.
In the food and beverage industry, Polar Cave Ice Cream Parlour’s operator posted on social media that all orders had to be made one hour ahead of time when it reopened, according to Fox News. But a number of customers reportedly didn’t adhere to the new procedure when the store reopened.
The business, however, handled some orders the next day, which its operator called a “vastly improved operation” in a social media update cited by the outlet. He noted that customers adhered to the procedure, and orders were made more than an hour in advance with some made a day ahead.
According to the PYMNTS Mobile-Order Ahead Tracker, mobile order-ahead keeps gaining steam, with nearly 50 million customers in the United States forecasted to tap into food delivery apps by 2021. The index noted that “these changes are being fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic, which is forcing governments to issue stay-at-home orders and dine-in restaurant bans to follow social distancing guidelines.”
The health crisis, for its part, has pulled people from their physical activities to their virtual equivalents throughout all 10 pillars of the connected economy. Consumers didn’t have the physical solutions to turn to in some cases, while other solutions weren’t as good as they once were with the risk of infection just one of the problems. As a result, consumers substituted digital solutions for diminished physical alternatives.
To curb the infection during in-store visits, however, businesses are seeking to have customers make appointments before they stop by in a move that perhaps marks the end of walk-ins — for now.