5 Ways Stores Can Enforce COVID-19 Social Distancing

Social distancing is the “new norm” but retailers and shoppers say maintaining that six-foot distance at grocery stores can be challenging. Grocery stores and convenience stores are doing their best to follow social distancing guidance from the CDC.

Retailers are getting creative in their fight to prevent customers from standing within six feet apart from any person for more than 10 minutes. Some stores are placing carts or chairs six feet apart or using electrical tape placed on the floors as guides to help shoppers know where exactly they can safely position themselves while others are creating graphics and POP to assist.

How Can Retailers Implement Social Distancing?

Here are five ways retailers can help keep shoppers safe in their stores during the Coronavirus crisis.

    1. Floor Graphics or Floor Clings
      Floor clings or floor decals are one of the easiest ways to direct and remind shoppers to keep their distance. Ideal for indoor and outdoor use, slip resistant, durable, and adhesive floor clings are made from a variety of different substrates. Retailers can even chose eco-friendly materials to meet their sustainability goals.

    2. Creative Cutouts of Your Products
      Using oversized cutouts featuring graphics of your most popular products makes for a fun, lighthearted way to keep customers from inching their way closer. To prevent this, a doughnut shop in Seattle created large cardboard versions of their delicious doughnuts for customers to hold while placing to-go orders.
    3. Shelf Talkers With Clever Sayings
      Shelf talkers, flags and wobblers are often used to promote products, and they still can, however they’re also an easy way to remind customers to “back off.” You can use standard verbiage to instruct shoppers to distance themselves or use memorable phrases, sayings or song lyrics such as, “Don’t Stand So Close to Me – Please allow six feet between you and your fellow shoppers.”
    4. Standees, Aisle Invaders or Aisle Violators
      Developing larger die-cut displays, standees, aisle invaders or aisle violators is another creative and smart way to keep customers following CDC guidelines. Standees provide plenty of messaging real estate to include additional safety tips and are ideal for the lines forming outside of grocery stores.

    5. Designated Area Signage & POP
      With makeshift drive-through solutions becoming more and more popular for foodservice, proper signage is key. Customers that may already feel frazzled over this new setup may need direction. Consider creating signage with clear direction so customers know how and where to pick up and pay. If you offer cashless payment options, this is also the perfect opportunity to remind shoppers they can use your app, Apple Pay or Google Pay to avoid touching and exchanging bills and coins.

Linda Bestwick/Shutterstock.com

If you’d like us to brainstorm or develop additional signage, clings or POP to assist your stores with social distancing, let us know. We’re here for you.

How Can Retailers Thank First Responders, Nurses and Medical Personnel During the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic?

Last week, NACS sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security urging the agency to designate convenience stores, their suppliers and distributors as critical businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Convenience stores and grocers are doing whatever they can to help support customers, especially those on the Coronavirus front lines such as first responders, police, military personnel and medical workers.

Special Offers for Special Customers

You may have noticed some of your local businesses stepping up and providing free or discounted meals or beverages to customers in the medical field. Texas burger chain, Mighty Fine made headlines for providing free takeout meals to police, paramedics and medical workers in uniform. Participating Dunkin’ and Circle K stores are offering free hot and cold beverages to health care professionals for a limited time.

Making Your Message Memorable

Make sure your special offers are visible to first responders and medical workers just purchasing fuel. They may not need a coffee now but can always stop by on their way to work tomorrow as well as spread the word to their coworkers. Create clings or signage for your front windows. Customers will most likely take a photo of your sign and share it on their social media pages.

Keep Them Moving

Looking for new ways to honor local first responders and health care workers? The following are some ideas to help keep these customers moving during this difficult time.

  • Offer lunch discounts or free beverage with purchase
  • Create a Fast Pass for helpful heroes allowing them to get in and out faster  
  • Provide free delivery to area hospitals, sheriff’s offices, firehouses and more

We’re all in this together. If you’d like us to brainstorm or develop additional promotions geared toward first responders or medical workers, please let us know. We’re your partner and are here for you during these challenging times and always.


Feel Good News

In addition to helping first responders, see how retailers are helping senior customers and families, as well as assisting their employees during the COVID-19 crisis.

Adjusting Your Marketing During the COVID-19 Coronavirus Crisis

As retailers, you’ve dealt with everything from severe weather events to sudden changes in FDA rules and regulations. However, you most likely have yet to encounter a crisis as monumental as the COVID-19 coronavirus. Here are some quick and easy ways to adjust your marketing strategy during the current pandemic crisis.

Thank First Responders & Medical Workers

They say, “Not all heroes wear capes” and our first responders, doctors and nurses are proof of that. These professionals are leading the fight on the front lines and could use a bit of kindness and extra encouragement. Create “thank you” signs to show your gratitude or take it a step further and create coffee or foodservice discounts or offers for those in uniform.

Call Out New Safety Policies

New CDC guidelines are changing the way you do business. As always, your customers’ peace of mind is a priority. From new store hours to new food handling policies. Reassure your shoppers with signage that keeps them in the know for example:

  • Curbside Takeout Now Available
  • Due to Recent CDC Guidelines, Our Dining Area Is Temporarily Closed
  • To ensure the safety of our guests, the roller grill is closed. Please visit the counter for all hot dogs, taquitos and sausages.
  • The safety of our guests and team members is important to us. Due to COVID-19 guidelines, we are suspending the use of reusable cups at this time. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
  • During this time, we request you use our mobile app to order ahead. Thank you for your cooperation.

Alert Customers of Staple Items in Stock

Place signs in prominent areas reassuring customers they can find sought-after items such as bottled water, paper towels, bread and milk. Remember, there’s a chance your average customer depends on you for beer, snacks or tobacco items. They may not know your store supplies staple items their families need.

Tout Your Takeout

Customers know you sell chips and candy, but are they aware of your award-winning chicken, biscuits and mac and cheese or how about your beloved specialty pizza? With restaurants closing, your customers may be seeking alternatives. Let them know that when it comes to dinner time, you’ve got them covered with hot, packaged meals they can easily take out. Step it up and offer curbside delivery during this difficult time as well as promote your prepared meal offerings on social media.   

Focus More on Exterior Than Interior Messaging

Social distancing means consumers are trying to minimize their time in your stores. Consider shifting more of your messaging to exterior signs that shoppers are more likely to see and that let them know what you have before they enter the store. Consider banners focusing on staple items or feather flags advertising grab-and-go lunch options.


We know these are challenging times for our industry. We’re proud to support you in your efforts to serve the communities in which you operate. Whether you need assistance in developing new exterior messaging, better promoting your packaged foods or simply downsizing your program, please feel free to reach out. We’re here to help.