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Helping Retailers Comply to Government Directives While Keeping Customers Calm and Informed in Unprecedented Times

“Retailers are experiencing dramatic changes in the way they run their businesses due to the current global crisis triggered by COVID-19. Increased demand for critical products due to countries being locked down and the government directive to practice social distancing, can cause confusion and distress for shoppers. Using clear informative signage in-store can be vital to maintaining a safe and calm retail environment,” said Ali Al Salihi, Manager, Retail & Hospitality – Middle East, OKI Europe Ltd.

In increasingly unpredictable times, retailers need to be ready to react quickly to sudden market changes and emerging trends. The spikes in footfall that supermarkets, grocers, and pharmacists are currently experiencing is something many retailers could not have prepared for. As customers flock to stores to pick up essentials, retailers will be concerned about the safety of customers and staff as well as reassuring customers through clear communications to keep a sense of calm in these challenging times.

In-store visual communications are critical to helping retailers adhere to changing government regulations. For example, in the current climate, the use of floor stickers can help retailers ensure shoppers observe the required social distance from staff and other customers throughout the store, particularly while queuing to pay for their goods. Furthermore, hanging signage can help customers navigate the aisles quickly to locate the daily essentials they’re looking for, while the shelf and free-standing signage can communicate sudden changes in policy e.g. purchasing limits as well as product stock levels as effectively as possible. As items quickly disappear from the shelves, customers need to know when those essentials will be back in stock.

With government advice changing on a daily basis combined with the fluctuation in the availability of goods, the ability to quickly adapt signage is key to maintaining a calm and safe shopping environment. However, many retailers often lack the flexibility to be able to quickly update in-store signage.

Visual Communication On-Demand to Reassure Customers Through a Crisis
Typically, retailers must wait for in-store signage dispatched from head office or rely on the service of an external print supplier. This can mean long lead times creating a delay in how quickly each store can place vital and relevant communications on the shop floor. Being able to react quickly to sudden changes in demand means retailers need instant access to resources that enable a diverse range of signage and communications to be printed quickly and easily in-store.

Printers that have been designed specifically for the retail market allow retailers to quickly adapt to situations as they unfold by printing a diverse range of highly effective visual communications in-store, on-demand. Compact printers such as OKI’s award-winning C800 Series have been optimised for busy stores where space is often at a premium. These fit into back offices and are user friendly enough for shop floor staff to quickly manage print jobs with limited interruption to their other duties and without intervention from other members of staff.

Powerful Retail-Ready Printers for Your Daily In-Store Signage Needs
Despite their small footprint, retail-ready printers can produce print signage in a wide range of sizes, formats, and weights, serving a diverse range of needs in retail environments. This can include hanging directional signage to guide shoppers around the store or window stickers highlighting the daily opening hours, as well as free-standing banners up to 1.3m in length, shelf signage and wobblers alerting shoppers of stock availability and policy updates such as purchasing limitations.

Printers that support printing on waterproof media, including floor stickers, allow retailers to help customers adhere to social distancing regulations, by placing stickers with the appropriate gap between them, safeguarding the wellbeing of both customers and staff.

Positivity in Print
In turbulent times when unexpected events occur such as COVID-19, retailers are often the unsung heroes that are put under pressure by customers and the government to provide support to the nation. Customers can quickly become overwhelmed, disoriented and frustrated. The ability to communicate clearly to them through signage printed on demand and in professional quality allows retailers to ensure their store remains a safe and peaceful environment for shoppers.

To find out more about OKI’s Retail Solutions for supermarket and grocery stores visit

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