Neenah, WI—As states slowly begin allowing businesses to reopen amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Jewelers Mutual Group is continuing its efforts to provide jewelry businesses with resources to stay safe and secure.
The company is offering three separate resources free to the industry: downloadable store signage for social distancing rules, a list of safety and security tips for reopening, and free enrollment to JM University.
Complimentary store signage outlining social distancing and hygiene practices is now available for retail jewelers to download and print. There are four options to choose from, and all provide health and safety messages for jewelers to share in their store, whether it’s on the jewelry cases themselves or on the front door.
The signage is ready to click, download, print, and display. Click here to access it.
Additionally, Jewelers Mutual is inviting all jewelers and staff in the industry to enroll in JM University, its online resource for safety and security education. JM University is normally reserved for Jewelers Mutual customers, but the company is providing access to everyone in the industry as another way to help raise the tide of the industry. Some of the topics included are:
- How to sell and travel securely
- Daily procedures that prevent crime
- Understanding the CARES Act and PPP
Finally, review these 10 safety and security tips for re-opening:
1. Contact your agentto reinstate insurance coverage that may have been temporarily reduced while closed. If a temporary endorsement was made to your on-premises stock limit, you will have to call your agent to bump coverage back up. Especially during an unknown time like this, we never want your store to not be adequately covered.
2. Contact your safe storage provider or your bankto set up a time to safely acquire or transport jewelry stock back to your store. Once your store is given the okay to re-open, you will need to provide at least a 24-hour notice to the provider (i.e. Malca-Amit) securing your jewelry to schedule a safe pick-up or drop off. Make sure you understand the requirements ahead of time so you’re ready. If stock is being stored in a bank safe, you will need to contact the bank and arrange a time for safe pick-up.
3. Take precautions as jewelry is set up in displays. After jewelry stock is safely returned to a store, all entrances to the building should be locked and alarm and security systems should be activated. It’s at this time that stock not inside a safe or a display case may be most vulnerable. High-value merchandise should be spread across the showroom and the arrangement of items should be altered. This thwarts the threat of a burglar remembering exact locations of the items he or she wants.
4. If feasible, have an exterior cameraand ask customers to momentarily lower their mask in view of the camera before entering your store. We understand that many, if not all customers will continue to wear masks while going out in public after the safer-at-home orders are loosened. If it’s possible -- before they enter your store – have security cameras set to get a view of their face, just in case anything may happen after they enter. Once inside your store, don’t ask customers to remove their mask as it is a safety measure for customers and staff.
5.If an outdoor camera isn’t available, ask for a driver’s license before showing products. Be open and honest with your customers and let them know that due to heightened security risks right now you are obligated to check everyone’s ID’s as an additional security measure. This way if a crime is committed you have their information.
6. Review security/alarm system to make sure its functioning correctly.
Surveillance: Whether in the store or away from the store, it’s important to keep an eye on surveillance footage. Even if the cameras are working properly, these questions should be top of mind:
- Are all angles of the property under surveillance?
- Is the resolution of the cameras high enough for an investigator to use if a crime occurs?
- Are recordings stored properly?
- Are recordings quickly and easily accessible?
Alarm system: Unfortunately, alarms can be complex at times. This means it's even more critical to examine them with an alarm service provider. Some important questions to ask yourself are:
- Is the alarm communication path working as expected?
- Would the support from your security company be sufficient if your alarm system stopped working?
- Would the level of monitoring in the event of an alarm signal be sufficient?
7. Take time to re-train employees. It is important to meet with your employees for any staff training needed before re-opening, and to make sure they feel comfortable returning. Remind them to remain vigilant while greeting customers and showing them items.
8. Make sure your staff is healthy before returning to work. You’ll want to stay on the lookout for health requirements for employees returning to work after COVID-19 from the CDC. For now, at the very least we recommend jewelers check in with employees before they return to work – making sure they know to stay home if they are feeling ill. Temperature tests are also an option for employees.
9. Ensure more than one employee is in the store when re-opening. We recommend you open your business with two or more people on the premises. This is especially important during the transition period after a lengthy closure. One employee should open while another observes the opening. When opening, the employee unlocking the store should immediately lock the door after entering. Then, this individual should conduct a full walk-through of the premises, looking for anything suspicious. The other employee should watch from a safe distance, ready to call police if the need arises. Only after receiving an “all-clear” notification from the first employee, the second employee may enter — again locking the door behind him/her — and assist with opening safes and/or vaults, setting up display cases, and preparing for the day’s business.
Check out JM University for courses related to this topic.
10. Have enough staff on hand and only allow a few customers in at a time.
Business may be slow to start, but gradually customers will feel more comfortable leaving home and supporting their local jewelers again. Some may be eager to check on their custom projects or repairs which may be waiting for them. Prepare your store for anticipated traffic and take precautions on the number of customers to allow in at a time, for you and your employees’ health and safety, as well as your customers’.
Looking for additional resources or updates on information related to COVID-19? Check out our dedicated business page or sign up to receive email updates.