While some garden centres are managing their customer numbers by controlling the number of trolleys in at any one time Barton Grange are only allowing 100 cars at a time to park up, with other cars waiting in a queing system on the remainder of the sites car parking space. GTN's North West correspondent Steve Myatt took the short trip up the M6 to bring you this GTN Xtra photo tour.
Steve's tour starts at the staff entrance: "The journey starts for the staff team as they enter the centre staff entrance. After I signed in I was asked to wear my visitor badge and sanitise my hands before entering. Safety signage was evident throughout the walk to the store itself, and additional hand sanitising was required just before entering the shop.
"For the customer the journey starts on entering the car park which is much reduced in size. Once this is full cars are directed to a queuing lane where they are asked to stay in their car until they find a parking space in the main car park.
"Signage in the car park is clear and reinforces safety by stating the sanitised trolleys are available. As the store become busier staff direct the customers to a queuing area highlighted by cones and ask them to remain safely distanced. Signs discouraging entry via the Farm Shop entrance help keep the flow in the right direction and staff are there to also discourage this.
"Clear signage asks customers to be aware of restrictions before entry, and staff are inside the entrance in marked safe zone asking customers to understand card payment only etc and monitor entrance numbers and distancing. Customers are asked to sanitise their hands prior to entry and they are given – again from a safe zone- a sanitised trolley for shopping. Reception is also a safe zone (as are all staff points) with clear 2m designation.
"Closure of internal joining doors encourages a natural one way trip through the centre.
"Merchandising is, as always, of a high standard within the centre, and the social distancing measures are repeated clearly throughout the centre. Main aisles have been widened to allow easier distancing.
"In the covered area and Planteria information points are clearly marked with social distancing measures in place.
"Directional signs to the tills are large and clear to encourage correct customer flow.
"As customers approach the tills signage directs them to the left where staff also are stationed to ensure 2m distance between shoppers.
"On approaching the tills the customers are asked to place their trolley by the till and then retreat to the marked square whilst the trolley is checked through the till. The staff stand back and ask the customer to pay via card. Once done the customer takes the trolley away, but if it is a large load and requires unloading then the products are placed on the table behind for customer collection after payment. Card machines are wiped after each transaction.
"On leaving a staff member in a safe zone controls the queue for safe distancing as some customers use the sanitiser again before leaving.
"The customer feedback has been very positive and they have been congratulated on their slick operation in the circumstances."
Barton Grange - May 2020 - SM 220520GTN 001.jpg