IKEA reopens Canadian locations with strict safety guidelines
Safety to be 'shared responsibility' between staff, customers
All 14 of Canada’s IKEA locations are once again open for business following COVID-19 closures, with strict health and safety policies in place.
IKEA Canada had taken the proactive step to temporarily close all store locations on March 18 to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“We are taking a phased approach to our reopening plans,” said Kristin Newbigging, public relations manager for IKEA in Toronto. “Above everything else, we want to reopen all of our stores in a responsible manner.”
Decisions on reopening considered local situations and internal criteria at the Swedish-origin home furnishing store, she said.
“Working in line with recommendations from local governments and health authorities, IKEA has implemented enhanced, preventative health and safety measures across the shopping experience and operations to ensure co-workers and customers feel safe to work and shop,” said Newbigging.
“We have developed our new safety measures in collaboration with local health authorities, global partners who have reopened, retail advocacy organizations and our own internal teams.”
Specific safety measures
As a result of strict safety measures, the IKEA restaurant and children’s Småland play area will remain closed, while the IKEA bistro is open for takeout only.
With a focus on physical distancing, preventative hygiene practices and rigorous cleaning and sanitization, additional health and safety measures include:
- strict physical distancing guidelines — a minimum of 2-metres apart, including floor decals for lineups (greeters will assist as needed)
- limiting the number of visitors overall and maintaining a strict capacity in select areas
- frequent sanitization and cleaning of units and surfaces, including carts (after every use)
- personal protective equipment (PPE) for co-workers, including masks
- separation screens around cash registers and customer service points
- hand sanitizer throughout and clear information on preventive hygiene methods to minimize the potential risk of infection
- health and safety requirements for co-workers and third-party vendors, including a temperature check when they enter the building.
The company believes safety is a “shared responsibility” between staff and customers, said Newbigging.
As such, IKEA is requesting that customers remain mindful of physical distancing guidelines and limits to store capacity when they plan a visit to the store.
This includes planning their specific purchase in advance, checking stock availability on IKEA’s website, considering a non-peak time or later date to shop if the need isn’t immediate, only touching product that they intend to buy and shopping in groups of two or less.
“We also encourage customers to wear masks when visiting our stores,” said Newbigging.
To avoid long wait times, IKEA is also inviting customers to take advantage of its 365-day return policy and return products at a later time.