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New services introduced to safeguard shoppers in Southampton

An independent retailer in Southampton has teamed up with a local taxi company to offer home delivery services to customers during the covid-19 crisis.

The Nisa Local Maybush store, which closed its doors to shoppers in the early stages of the outbreak, also launched a click and collect service at the same time, to ensure customers were able to make purchases without putting themselves at risk.

Tanj Jagpal, whose parents run the store on a day to day basis, said they made the decision to close the doors quite early on amid concerns about how to keep store staff and shoppers safe, deciding a full closure was the best way of protecting everyone.

“We know it was quite a bold move, and up until that point we’d been extremely busy, like Christmas every day. But we felt there was too much risk for everyone and so we closed down and came up with alternative ways of serving our shoppers.”

Conscious of the need to continue providing a service to the community, Tanj spent time working on a new system which entailed offering shoppers full access to product lists via the store’s Facebook page enabling customers to place orders before 10pm for next day delivery. 

They also offered a click and collect service using the same system, with shoppers able to attend the store and pick up their shopping. 

A full list of available products was uploaded onto the site each day so shoppers knew what they could order, and customers were invited to place their orders, including at least £10 worth of essential items, on the store's Facebook page.

Tanj said: "We felt this was the most responsible way to operate so customers didn’t have to put themselves or others at risk by waiting in queues or being in close contact with others. In addition, customers knew exactly what we had available as the product list was updated daily."

Today (Monday 27th April) the store has re-opened to shoppers with clear guidelines in place to ensure staff and shoppers stay safe.

As well as reduced opening hours there will be a maximum of three customers allowed in the store at a time, social distancing marks will be in place as well as plastic screens to protect cashiers and customers, contactless payment is also being encouraged and a fair limit is being placed on certain products.

In a Facebook post on Sunday they announced: “We will be re-opening to the general public from Monday 27th April. Your favourite shop is back, and we can't wait to see you all.” 

Tanj added: “Our actions were well received by customers – they saw it as us taking responsible steps. We’ll be continuing our click and collect service and looking ahead, we will try to streamline it and make it an extra service to our customers, even when this is all over.” 

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