Everyday life in store during COVID-19: Poland

Anna Błońska, store manager in Warsaw2

Gloves, face masks and clothes in quarantine. When Poland opened its stores, after seven weeks of closure, many new security measures had been introduced.
“We are getting more used to the new reality every day,” says Anna Błońska, store manager in Warsaw.

The coronavirus pandemic is hitting our sales hard. But our colleagues in stores are fighting every day to provide customers with good service, in the safest possible way. In this four-part series of articles you will get to meet some of them. First up is Anna Błońska, store manager in Galeria Młociny, Warsaw, Poland.

In the middle of March the Polish Government decided to close all stores in Poland. From that point, employees at every KappAhl store in Poland had to stay at home and wait for the situation to go back to normal.

“However, the time spent at home was not wasted. It was used for e-learning trainings: Security Manual, VM or work safety. Despite our stores being closed to customers, our staff decided to work in store two days a week. It was a good time to prepare for upcoming campaigns and to get the stores ready for reopening. Safety was a priority; at KappAhl stores and small Newbie stores we used face masks and gloves and worked only in groups of two,” says Anna.

A couple of weeks ago stores in Poland reopened. Many work procedures were changed to minimize the risk of infection. For example, there is a limit to the number of customers allowed inside the store, and wearing face masks and gloves is mandatory. Hand sanitizer is available, and fitting rooms are closed due to safety measures. Clothes are put into quarantine for 24 hours if returned.

“Our staff wear gloves and face masks at all times, and we keep a social distance of two metres. We work in groups of two or three colleagues on each shift. Lines on the floor enforce the distance between customers and between staff and customers,” says Anna.

Do you feel safe at work?

“Our work revolves around contact with customers, so we need to follow the new safety rules and regulations, for our customers’ safety as well as our own. Until now, we have been successful in our actions. Some unexpected situations have come up, but thanks to creative colleagues and customers and the support of our managers, we are able to come to work with peace of mind.”

Given the circumstances, Anna takes a positive view of the new work procedures.

“We are getting a bit more used to the new reality every day. It is also a new situation for the customers. So patience and understanding are key to co-operating effectively. We are here for our customers, and I have to stress that we are happy to be back in the stores!”

In a few days’ time you’ll get to read about what it’s like to work in a store in Finland during the COVID-19 pandemic, when we meet Alicia Almborg, store manager in Avesta, store manager in Helsinki. Keep an eye on KappAhl Blog!

Posted by Elina Bratt Lejring