We want our customers to be confident that they can come in for a shoe fitting and not be exposed to the novel coronavirus.
We also want our staff to be confident that they can help customers with shoe fittings and not be exposed to the novel coronavirus.
And finally, some of our staff are immuno-compromised, which means that they simply cannot be permitted to do shoe fittings.
Problems and Solutions
If you think doing shoe fittings during a pandemic is easy, think again. Here are just some of the issues we have had to consider in order to develop a set of policies for this seemingly mundane task.
Shoe fittings require our staff and customers to be in close face-to-face contact with each other for an average of 30 to 60 minutes.
Solutions to Problem 1:
1. Masks are mandatory for both staff and customers.
2. Immuno-compromised staff cannot do shoe fittings.
3. Appointments can only be scheduled when staff are available to do the fittings.
Disinfecting shoes after shoe fittings is not a simple thing. Spraying shoes with chemicals makes the shoes (and our whole store) smell like a bowling alley. Trust us; we tried this; it’s awful.
Solutions to Problem 2:
1. After a shoe fitting, any shoes touched by the customer have to be set aside for 24 hours before another customer can try them on.
2. In order to coordinate the solution above, we have to book appointments.
A customer in a particular size cannot try on shoes if all/some/most of the shoes in that type/size have been set aside for 24 hours.
Solutions for Problem 3:
1. We have to ask customers for their shoe size before they come in.
2. For common sizes, we can only do one shoe fitting appointment per day.
Most ladies fit into one of three common sizes. Most men fit into one of three common sizes.
Solutions for Problem 4:
1. For common sizes, we can only take one appointment per day.
In order to do a shoe fitting, staff members have to check the fit while the customer is standing. Even if the customer is wearing a mask, this means that droplets from the customer will be raining down on the head of the staff member during the fitting.
Solutions for Problem 5:
1. Immuno-compromised staff are not permitted to do shoe fittings.
2. Shoe fitting appointments can only be scheduled for days and times when non-immuno-compromised staff are available.
3. Customers have to be pre-screened prior to fittings.
Many customers, especially men, do not know their shoe size.
Solutions for Problem 6:
1. Book one shoe fitting per day in order to ensure the largest possible range of sizes is available for each customer.
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