Central England Co-op outlines plans on face coverings for colleagues and customers

Central England Co-op has outlined its plans for in-store face coverings in its food and funeral businesses, as the retailer continues to lead the way on safety measures during these uncertain times.

The retailer, which has over 400 food stores and funeral homes across 16 counties, is asking customers to follow Government guidance and wear a face covering when visiting one of its businesses.

All colleagues will wear a face covering or visor while at work to ensure everyone plays their part in staying safe and healthy.

Debbie Robinson, Central England Co-op Chief Executive, said: “Nothing is more important to us all at Central England Cooperative than the health and safety of our colleagues and customers.

“Ahead of the official start date of the 24 July for customers to wear face coverings in shops, we will be asking colleagues to do so from today (Monday 20). This is to ensure the message is as clear and consistent as possible for everyone.

“Our colleagues have all been supplied with face masks for when they are working and will be playing their part in helping our communities to stay safe. We want our colleagues to feel comfortable wearing a face covering for up to eight hours at a time, and so are also ensuring more comfortable face visors are available to those who prefer to wear one.

“Some customers are rightly exempt from this request, for health or religious reasons. We have made these exemptions very clear on our website www.centralengland.coop and all team members will be reminded of these important exemptions.  Priority access for NHS team members is still in place, to allow these front-line workers to be in our and out of store as quickly as possible.

“So we now ask all of our customers to wear a face covering so we know together we’re co-operating in our efforts to be safe.”

The new measures on wearing face coverings will sit alongside a range of others already in place at Central England Co-op sites, which have been very well received by customers.

These include:

 

On entering the shop:

  • Prominent markings installed outside stores so customers queuing to enter maintain safe distances of two-metres, as well as messages asking those customers who may have symptoms of Covid-19 not to enter the store.
  • Permanent hand sanitiser stations at the front of all stores and a one-way system in place permanently

 

Whilst shopping:

  • Specialist cleaning products are used to regularly wipe down the countertops and chip and pin machines, ATMs, baskets and trolleys
  • Clear markings installed throughout stores to communicate two-metre spacing. Customers are asked to maintain these distances while shopping and this is repeated frequently via in-store radio messaging

 

At point of payment:

  • Special markings installed to showcase two-metre safe distances while queueing
  • Team members are using every other till point or checkout to keep both customers and colleagues a safe distance apart
  • Special markings installed in front of till points and checkouts of at least one metre. If a customer needs to enter this area to place down a basket or use the keypad, colleagues move backwards to maintain a safe distance
  • Customers are asked to pay with card or contactless if possible
  • Over 1,000 plastic screens at till points and 7,000 face visors issued to staff.

 

People can keep up to date with what is happening in their local community by visiting a dedicated online hub at www.centralengland.coop/updates

 

 

Notes to editors

 

About Central England Co-operative

 

Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK with interests in food, funeral, floral, travel and property investment.

 

Co-operatives have always been there for their communities; they were formed to protect them and help them flourish. 

 

Our 7,900 colleagues who serve Members and customers work hard to ensure that co-operative values, principles and spirit flow through everything we do to help support and improve our local communities.

 

Owned by hundreds of thousands of Members, we have over 430 trading outlets across 16 counties including West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. 

 

We are proud of our reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.

 

We invest a percentage of our trading profit into local communities through our Community Dividend Fund scheme, have donated over £1.3 million to our corporate charity partner Dementia UK and also operate a pioneering food redistribution partnership with FareShare Midlands so unsold food goes to those in need.

 

Visit www.centralengland.coop for more information or follow us on Facebook or Twitter using @mycoopfood

 

 

Press office contacts: Rob Smyth and James Brindle

 

Phone - 01543 421390

 

Email - publicrelations@centralengland.coop