Retail brand leaders select SafeGroup
15 January 2021
HIGH STREET and online brand leaders Ann Summers and Radley have chosen emergency soft FM specialist SafeGroup to deliver COVID-19 disinfection services.
Ann Summers has commissioned SafeGroup to deliver planned COVID-19 services in its warehouses and online sales fulfilment centres, and a reactive service in all its stores.
Radley has called in the specialist cleaning firm to deliver planned COVID-19 services in its main warehouse and all stores outside Tier 4 areas across the UK.
Ann Summers health and safety manager Michelle Sutcliffe said: “We are grateful to SafeGroup for its quick response and assistance when we have needed its help. It has been a company that does what it says it will do, when it says it will do it.”
Kevin Morris, head of retail at Radley, said: “We’ve planned with SafeGroup a two-month treatment program along with that of our distribution centre. I am happy to say that, to date, we have had no instances where anyone has caught Covid-19 whilst being in one of our stores or working in our distribution centre.”
SafeGroup predicts that demand for COVID-19 disinfection services will rise in 2021 as businesses, including retailers, seek to maintain operations while the government’s vaccination programme is rolled out.
SafeGroup strategic sales director Chris Macdonald said: “Key sites operated by Radley and Ann Summers now have the best COVID-19 protection on the market. Staff are reassured that protection is in place. As are customers, thanks to the prominent display in stores of our certificate of disinfection.
“If a site regularly treated by us is linked to a case of COVID-19, for example through the test and trace programme, the appropriate response is for it to be cleaned thoroughly by in-house cleaners, not closed for a deep clean.
“Customers and sales staff must be reassured that all is being done to protect them. Retailers respect that logistics staff deserve the same protection. If a distribution centre closes, there is nothing to sell, and the same centres fulfil online sales.”
Retailers are desperate for their stores to stay open, with as little disruption as possible, over the Christmas period, not least because those in Tier 4 regions, which include London and the South East, have had to close.
This has placed even more importance on giving reassurance to retail customers and staff about COVID-19 security.
SafeGroup is one of the UK’s leading providers of COVID-19 disinfection services. It is responsible, for example, for carrying out COVID-19 cleaning of three-quarters of all London buses operated by Transport for London.
Chris Macdonald said: “What is critical is that our customers can have confidence in the service we are providing. We use the latest electrostatic spray equipment, which creates a super-fine ionized spray that clings effectively to all surfaces, providing much better coverage than conventional fogging.
“Also, we use Zoono, one of the best COVID-19 disinfectants on the market. It has been laboratory tested and proved to provide long-lasting protection against Coronaviruses and other pathogens, destroying them on contact.
“All our operatives are carefully selected and trained. They wear appropriate high quality PPE, including full body suits, gloves, goggles and masks. This protects them and reassures client teams that the disinfection we are carrying out is a serious process.”
The start of COVID-19 vaccination adds a new dimension. While hugely welcomed, it is by no means an instant solution. It is a huge logistical task. Only time will tell if the protection promised will be delivered.
“For these reasons, we expect demand for COVID-19 preventative disinfection to grow in 2021, not subside,” said Chris Macdonald. The protection it provides for staff, customers and business continuity, the wellbeing it spreads, and its relatively low application cost, will make it attractive to retailers.
“The pandemic has also changed our attitudes to cleanliness. Staff and customers now have higher expectations. They will demand cleaner and better protected work and public spaces. COVID-19, as a threat, will be with us for a long time. Other viruses and pandemics will follow on behind. The landscape for cleaning and hygiene has changed.”
SafeGroup provides integrated emergency soft FM and specialist waste management services. The company operates four depots, nationally, and works in all commercial and industrial sectors, including healthcare, transport, logistics, construction, manufacturing and education.
Key services include COVID-19 cleaning, fire and flood cleaning and waste management, crime scene cleaning, fly-tip clearance, hazardous waste removal and advanced pest solutions, including pest proofing.