2: Meeting Government Guidance
You must make sure that the retail items on sale fall within the guidelines for an “essential” business. These are: food retailers, pharmacies, hardware stores, corner shops, petrol stations, shops in hospitals, post offices, banks, newsagents, laundrettes and pet shops.
Selling anything outside of these narrow bands could result in your new business being frowned upon, as it could be seen to encourage people to break the lockdown rules.
But there are a number of initiatives to help local businesses change to become local shops, such as the ‘My Pub’ scheme.
The simplest way to start building your retail experience is to look at the suppliers you already have – could you simply sell-on what they already bring you? Meat, vegetables, any foodstuffs, could be sold. Talk to your suppliers to see what else they could supply. One of the best things about changing your business model is you could be supporting more than just your own business; your suppliers have also been hit hard, and you could help them too.
If you want to store foodstuffs safely, but make them easy for customers to get to, look at display refrigeration – multi-decks (open fridges customers can just reach into to grab what they want) and stand up fridges and freezers with glass doors are the most popular for us.
For frozen food, often a large chest freezer can be a good, cost effective option, as you can fit a lot in it and they are very energy efficient.
Making sure you have enough stock can be tricky, especially when you aren’t sure when you’ll get your next delivery, so think about some larger scale refrigeration perhaps away from customers – we’ve even seen some cold rooms delivered in the last few weeks, if premises don’t have the size for larger units.