According to Hills’ David Lenz, the company holds the health and safety of its employees and customers above all and has demonstrated this through COVID precautions integrated into branches around the country.

Because the needs of each state were different, the solutions Hills employed were different, too.

“Most attention was needed in Victoria and NSW, which is where Hills staff really showed how you can adapt to this ‘new normal’, Lenz said. “With the unique issues faced in Victoria, the team has shown a commitment to safety and has been determined to do their bit to stop the spread and help get Victoria back to normal.”

Branches are only allowed 1 customer at a time and customers are encouraged to order before collection to minimise contact with staff. Couriers aren’t allowed in the branches and toilets are for staff only. One innovation is Hills’ solution for when a customer picks up an order. In the past the customer would sign in, but even the simple act of sharing pens is risky, so in place of this the Hills’ team installed a camera at the pickup area to record who took the delivery, and staff members fill out delivery dockets themselves.

On top of this, Victorian branches are using HillsTrak’s QR Customer Registration Solution, so in the unlikely event that someone who’s been in a branch does test positive to COVID-19, the team will be able to quickly trace all who may be affected.

NSW is in a different situation – there Hills has installed Perspex screens on all counter areas and there are floor markings to ensure people are distancing. On top of this there are no-touch sanitiser stations throughout and complimentary masks at the door if customers want to use them.

“All of Hills’ NSW stores have these additions and they show how COVID precautions can be integrated in a way that reflects Hills values of innovation and commitment to the wellbeing of all Australians,” Lenz said. “Hills plans to do the same with its Victorian branches when the situation there stabilises, which looks like it will be very soon.”

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