Back to Work Guidelines for Changing Rooms

How to Make Your Retail Store's Changing Room Safe During the COVID-19 Pandemic

As the owner of a retail store with a changing room, there are some difficult challenges you face as you begin to reopen for business and some serious questions you should be considering.

1). Should you reopen these rooms?
According to a survey by FirstSight in April, about 65% of women and 54% of men said they wouldn't feel safe trying on clothes. With the current rise of cases stretching across the US, we suspect these numbers aren't much different today.
2). Should you switch to, or at least add, a virtual changing room?

With these options available, you may still decide you want your customers to have access to traditional changing rooms. To help ensure their safety, and the safety of your staff, there are some precautions you should take.

Reduce changing-room capacity.

Only make every other changing stall available in to help ensure proper physical distancing and to make it easier for staff to maintain cleanliness.

  • Lock unavailable dressing room doors and post signs on them noting that they are not available.
    • TIP: Include language like "for your safety and the safety of our team members" to remind customers that this inconvenience is temporary.

Frequently disinfect rooms and high-touch surfaces.

  • Clean high-touch surfaces inside each room or stall after each customer.
    • Door handles
      • Don't forget door surfaces - we all tend to touch door edges when opening and closing, even absentmindedly
    • Clothing hooks
    • Seating
    • Shelves
  • Use EPA-approved disinfectants that kill COVID-19
  • Continue to perform overnight cleaning.

Don’t assume COVID-19 can't survive on clothes.

While it's believed that coronavirus can only survive on fabric for a short time, clothing often has hard surfaces, such as zippers, that could become vectors.

  • Play it safe and provide a designated rack where customers can place the items they don't plan on purchasing.
  • Quarantine these items for 24-72 hours before returning them to the shopping area.
  • Post an explanatory sign at the "not purchasing" rack to inform customers that "for their safety, the items will not be placed back on the floor for __ hours." This will help customers feel confident that your store cares about them. 

Promote the use of hand sanitizer and facemasks.

  • Provide hand sanitizer for customers to use as the enter and exit the changing room to help prevent the transmission of the virus.
  • Changing rooms, although private, are still an indoor public space. Post signs inside each stall asking customers to keep their masks on while they're trying on clothes.

Our recommendations can help you start forming a thorough plan for reopening your changing rooms. Keep in mind that guidelines and recommendations continue to change as experts learn more about COVID-19. It's important to stay updated by signing up for emails from the CDC, OSHA, and your state.

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