Life as we know it has changed. Whether it’s permanent or temporary, we don’t know yet. But adapting to these changes is the only way we can regain a sense of normalcy while keeping ourselves and others safe.
Activities that require contact with different items and several people such as shopping have to be adjusted to the current situation. Temperature checks at the entrances have become normal, hand sanitizing stations are now a usual feature in establishments, and more—even those who were previously skeptical—are now considering contactless payment options which have been available long before the pandemic.
Other changes in our usual trip to boutiques and department stores include disinfecting of fitting rooms and restriction of product sampling.
These and more are implemented at premier department store Rustan’s which began reopening its doors on June 5.
“Our goal for the past 70 years has always been to serve the community with great service and to provide a safe environment that feels like home. In this new chapter, we are committed to the idea of ‘One Home, One Hope’ to strengthen our solidarity with our countrymen as we help uplift the society’s mindset to look forward to brighter days,” Rustan’s chairman and chief executive Zenaida R. Tantoco said in a statement.
At Rustan’s, fitting rooms are disinfected after each use, sampling of products at the Beauty section is restricted, and shoe brands’ store personnel will ask customers to wear ankle socks before fitting shoes (socks will be provided).
Further, should customers decide against purchasing any fitted/worn apparel, the item will be placed in a designated “For Sanitation” box whose contents will be steamed and put back on display or in the stockroom after 24 hours.
Packaging of merchandise will be disinfected by receiving personnel upon receipt in store and before issuing to customer. And contactless payment is encouraged.
Should a shopper pay by cash or credit card, the cashier will provide a money tray and politely request for the former to place cash, credit, or gift cards on it. After each transaction, all FSP, Beauty Addict, loyalty cards, credit cards, and Rustan’s EGC will be sprayed with alcohol, dried on a cloth, and returned well-sanitized to customer.
In addition, before handing over purchased items to customers, the outer portion of packages of merchandise will be sprayed by cashier/sales personnel with disinfectant.
“As an establishment that has been a second home for many shoppers, we will stay dedicated in implementing thorough safety protocols to ensure that our employees and shoppers are protected and can visit us with ease of mind,” added Tantoco.
Other safety protocols in place include mandatory temperature check before entry, and installation of disinfectant floor mats and automatic hand sanitizers with sensors at the entrances. Complimentary face masks will be provided to customers not wearing any.
Physical distancing is implemented especially in queues, on escalators, and in elevators. Store premises undergo daily intensive cleaning and disinfection at the start and end of the day; high touch areas like doorknobs, escalator rails, elevators buttons will be wiped down frequently; air ducts will be cleaned regularly, and electric fans are installed at all mall entrances as added protection against the virus.
With their employees at the forefront, Rustan’s requires all staff members to go through rapid testing before returning to work and only those with a negative result shall be permitted to enter store premises. Employees are also required to change into a clean set of clothes and shoes before entering the establishment.
Rustan’s Makati and Shangri-La are now open from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Alabang from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Meanwhile, Rustan’s Gateway and Cebu will open on June 12 with daily operating hours of 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
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