Pandemic Prompts Storewide Changes for Mattress Retailers

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Sleep Savvy survey shows more cleaning and other new safety procedures to keep people safe

Mattress retailers say they are prioritizing their employees’ health and making a variety of changes to their in-store operations because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an online survey that appeared in the May 28 and June 11 issues of the Shop Talk by Sleep Savvy e-newsletter.

More than 87% of respondents said they are prioritizing worker safety in light of the pandemic by making operations changes, including appointing an employee to oversee store safety protocols (62%), reducing operating hours (50%) and rewarding employees for their safeguarding efforts (12%). (Respondents could choose more than one response to each question.)

Mattress retailers have adopted a number of new safety standards. Six in 10 said they are requiring employees and customers to wear masks or other personal protective equipment. In addition, eight in 10 retailers said they are sanitizing their stores and trucks more often, and half are providing hand sanitizer and/or are encouraging more handwashing among employees and shoppers.

In terms of social distancing, all of the respondents reported restricting close contact, such as handshaking in stores, while 80% said they are limiting the number of customers in their stores at any one time, and 40% have reduced staffing levels. To give both retail sales associates and shoppers more space, 30% of respondents said they have rearranged their store to create wider aisles and 10% have added space between display models for safer rest-testing.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides guidance for businesses to operate safely during the pandemic at its website, CDC.gov. The National Retail Federation has made some of its COVID-19 resources, including a reopening checklist, available free to nonmembers for a limited time at NRF.com/Resources/Operation-Open-Doors.

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