WoodenStreet to spend $500K, reveals plans for touch-free stores
Custom furniture startup WoodenStreet is planning to spend $500K to change how its experience stores will feel and function post-coronavirus pandemic. The plan includes a touch-free store policy, virtual reality and 3D services and sanitized supply chain.
The brand has been mapping out a re-entry strategy, given that new cases of COVID-19 seem to be flattening out in several districts across the country.
Centered on making furniture shopping a safe experience for customers, the strategy involves everything from daily store-wide sanitization and social distancing policies to virtual contact-less services on the website. The company will also make use of its VR module, launched in the previous quarter, which allows virtual reality walkthroughs of a customer’s home, furnished with WoodenStreet furniture and décor accessories, directly from their smartphone.
Lokendra Ranawat, CEO of WoodenStreet, said, “Given how COVID-19 has virtually changed everyone’s behavior and lifestyle. We want to assure customers of their safety and of our employees so that they feel confident in shopping.”
As every other business within India, WoodenStreet shut-down its stores on the 22nd of March after the Prime Minister had appealed to the nation for a 21-day lockdown. Now that reports of a slowdown in infection rates emerge, the company plans to open some of its 25+ Experience stores across green zones and relatively healthy areas.
In order to reassure customers of their safety within the stores, the company has prepared a detailed plan.
Touch-Free Experience Stores
The plan for the store includes:
1. Customers are advised to take an appointment before visiting; this will help staff to entertain no more than two families within the store while maintaining social distancing
2. Multiple store-wide sanitizations daily along with daily temperature screenings of the staff and regular medical examinations
3. A strict touch-free policy within the store; a store executive will explain the products and their functionality while maintaining distance.
4. Implementation of virtual store tools and VR module to reduce person-to-person interaction; customers can experience virtual store walkthroughs or products from within their homes
5. Implementation of touch-free transaction modes
6. Restrictions on entry without masks; purchasable for customers who arrive without one
“COVID-19 presents a new avenue of change, where the new social norms cannot be taken lightly. Masks and social distancing are here to stay for the long run, and we are ready to embrace these norms,” Ranawat added.
For the future, the company also has plans to resume its offices with a reduced capacity of 25-30%, allowing essential staff with social distancing and sanitization norms while others continue practicing work-from-home.