Blog, Ideas & Inspiration

Retail extension marquees: A solution to COVID-19 physical distancing issues?

June 3, 2020

Whilst COVID-19 continues to be a real threat we must continue to take all necessary precautions to limit the growth and spread of the disease. That said, it is becoming increasingly obvious that for socio-economic purposes, and until such time as a vaccine is found, we must all strive to discover a ‘new normal’.

We need to strike a balance between the precautions necessary to combat COVID-19 and the effects that social and physical distancing can have on individual mental health and well-being issues, as well as for the health of both national and global economies.

A difficult tightrope to walk.

The Government is cautiously looking at ways to ease restrictions and, in their latest advice, are now allowing small inter-household gatherings. This means that, so long as we maintain sensible physical distancing practises, we can finally spend some time, out-doors, with the loved ones that we have been missing over the last two or three months.

And as social and physical distancing restrictions are eased, businesses will be looking for new ways to operate. Though it may not be possible to make an instant return to pre-COVID normality, there are various ways in which businesses can adapt.

Creating additional dining space with a retail extension marquee

retail extension marquees

It has been a challenging time for businesses operating in the hospitality space. The earliest projections for a potential easing of restrictions, allowing pubs and restaurants to open their doors to dine-in customers, looks to be the 4th July 2020.

And when they do open their doors again, they will likely have to do so with some fairly hefty restrictions and safety precautions in place. It would seem sensible that salt, pepper and condiment containers be replaced with disposable alternatives. Staff would only be able to work whilst wearing gloves and masks; customers would not be allowed to stand at bars or  in communal spaces.

Most obviously, tables and other seating areas will need to be suitable segregated. A minimum of two metres will be needed between diners; possibly more to allow for access and the free-flowing movement of consumers and waiting staff.

For restaurants, the number of covers serviced is crucial for covering staff wages, let alone for turning a profit. This means a reduction, of possibly fifty percent, in consumer capacity. Numbers that could well make it difficult, if not impossible, for dining and drinking establishments to break even, let alone turn a profit.

Perhaps a marquee extension would be the answer? If you have the space to house a marquee then why not create additional, physically distanced dining, drinking and socialising space for your customers? We’ve created extended dining spaces before, and they have proved popular with customers and a success for the establishments involved.

Why not contact Inside Outside and find out how we can help you to create extended space for your visitors as social distancing restrictions are eased?

Retail extension marquees for additional shopping space

Retail extension marquee

Certain ‘essential’ retail outlets have already re-opened, and a recent Government announcement states that, from the 15th June 2020 non-essential retailers will also be allowed re-open stores in England; so long as they meet Government guidelines set down to protect both staff and shoppers.

Measures such as limiting the number of shoppers in store at any one time or limiting access to one shopper per household could be implemented. Whilst these measures are sensible, they are also likely to limit sales and therefore profit opportunities.

Why not consider creating additional retail space by using a marquee? It’s a service that Inside Outside have been offering for a number of years. A need for these types of retail extension marquees has generally been driven by seasonally increased consumer demand; Christmas, for example, rather than the due to the unprecedented effects of a global pandemic disease!

However, the principle is the same. If you need to create additional space for shoppers, whatever the driving force, a marquee is a fantastic option. Click here to read about a retail extension marquee that we created for RHS Garden Wisley.

A retail extension marquee would, for example, allow for the creation of extra-wide shopping aisles. Separate entrance and exit doors/areas could be added to help with visitor flow and to make physical distancing easier to achieve. And of course, the more space, the greater the opportunity to display full stock ranges and maximise sales opportunities, whilst minimising contamination risks for consumers.

Find out more about retail extension marquees

Speak to a member of our team for advice on the retail extension marquee options available to you. We are able to provide ball-park estimates over the telephone. We can also conduct virtual consultations and site visits, providing you with an accurate quotation and scale plans of your potential marquee; click here to find out more.

Call 01372 459485 to talk to a member of our team or email for more information.

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