When everyone has been vaccinated and the herd protection takes effect, then everything will be as it was before... No, definitely not! Twelve months pandemic have already had a great impact on humanity and have changed it permanently. People do not embrace their closest friends. Greetings and getting to know each other will be different in future, as very few people will shake hands again. The gap between fellow human beings has grown.
Hygiene awareness and perception has also changed. People quickly question whether something is hygienic. "Can I touch this without hesitation?" will be anchored in our minds for a long time. In 2020 many companies have very quickly come up with ever better hygiene concepts to give customers a safe shopping or enjoyment experience and, ultimately, to survive. But are comprehensive hygiene concepts really only important since Corona? No! Modern concepts have been around for a long time and were already crucial for business success before and even more so after the pandemic.
A "Yes, you can touch it!" or "Safe.to.touch – germ-free surfaces" – are clear signals to customers that a lot is being done for hygiene. However, hygiene is only one aspect of an overall concept that ultimately serves safety. Pioneers in this area are the ECE shopping centres, which have already taken measures together with us in 2018 to make shopping even more pleasant and to increase safety for customers as well as for employees.
In the Phoenix-Center in Hamburg-Harburg, the escalators were equipped with the ESCALITE UVC disinfection module. This measure was taken to encourage customers to hold on to the handrails, as very few did so for fear of germs. The innovation not only gave customers a good feeling, but also reduced the risk of accidents. A survey after the installation showed that visitors to the shopping centre found their entire shopping experience more pleasant. Positive effects on the perception of safety and cleanliness as well as on the general image of the centre were also measurable. Consequently, such measures as hygiene concepts, which are part of facility management, can also have a positive effect on business development.
Well positioned after the lockdown
After these positive experiences, it was obvious that the UVIS technology would also be incorporated into the existing security and hygiene concepts in other ECE shopping centres. When Corona spilled over into Germany, ECE did not have to look for a hygiene solution first but was able to upgrade the escalators in the Europapassage in Hamburg's city centre with the ESCALITE modules already during the first lockdown in spring 2020. In addition, all lifts, handrails and surfaces in the public areas which can be touched were coated with the UVIS product TITANO and have since also been "safe to touch" for all visitors. Appropriate notices on the floor, on the escalators and on the handrails inform customers of this service and thus, in combination with the generally applicable AHA rules, give a safe feeling.
Hygiene concepts also indispensable in the future
Already in the summer of 2020, when the infection numbers were lower, one could get the impression that some shops no longer took the topic of hygiene quite so seriously. But only those retailers and restaurateurs who continue to rely on comprehensive hygiene concepts in the future will be able to offer their customers the optimal feel-good ambience and be successful again.
Europa Passage/Robin Lösch
Published: 17. February 2021