Retailers across the country have modified their hours and taken many precautions to protect shoppers and employees during the COVID-19 outbreak, and now that includes adding plexiglass check-out lane barriers. Think of them as big sneeze guards that prevent airborne droplets from coughs and sneezes from crossing between a shopper and cashier.
The best part? These barriers can be made quickly to custom fit most check-out counters by IGA’s Red Oval partner Innomark, or they can even be made yourself.
“Innomark has developed a barrier design to minimize the ‘micro droplet exchange’ between a shopper and your checkout personnel,” says Garrison Brooks, Innomark’s creative director, customer engagement.
They are currently offering two designs: one hinged design and one flat panel design.
The first offers a compact and flexible design that allows the attendant to fold the sides completely down or fold out for more protection as needed.
If the attendant needs to help someone with the credit card reader, for example, they can fold the barrier out of the way momentarily and reach over to help. Brooks says it also makes cleaning easier and allows for a wide range of checkout styles.
The second option offers a simple design for a lower cost. However, it must block more of the belt area to maximize effectiveness, which can be inconvenient for shoppers trying to load the belt.
Brooks warns retailers to be generous with sizing. “If you make a small panel only, it will help some but there are many instances when there will be droplet exchanges made when the barrier is not in between,” he says.
At Baker’s IGA in Newscomerstown, Ohio, Store Owner Gary Baker installed plexiglass shields at the check-out counters himself, ensuring they cover enough space to keep cashiers and shoppers safe.
Brooks encourages IGA retailers to contact him if are considering installing these guards, even if they need advice on how to DIY (do it yourself). “Innomark is here to help in any way possible as our manufacturing facilities in Ohio are currently open and operating,” he says. “We can manufacture anything from register acrylic sneeze guards to protect your employees from airborne spread to any assistance needed with labor, stocking shelves, resets, etc.”