Inside the outdoor industry

Careful Cotswold reopens with appointment service

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Cotswold Outdoor, Snow+Rock and Runners Need have each launched an in-store appointment service to enable stores to reopen safely.

Appointments are free to arrange, in-store or online, and come with no obligation to spend. By booking an appointment, customers get priority in-store service at the pre-arranged time.

In line with government advice, there will be several new store processes and policies in place to help keep customers and staff safe. These include one-way systems, limiting the number of customers in-store at a time and constantly reviewed hygiene measures.

Cotswold Outdoor’s 60-minute Camping Kit List is aimed at those embarking on their first camping trip, while those who have discovered or rekindled their love for running during lockdown will benefit from a 30-minute Gait Analysis at Runners Need, using advanced technologies to match runners with the right shoes to help support every stride and protect against injury.

Appointments available from Cotswold Outdoor include:

· Adventure Kit List (90 minutes): Designed to prepare people for their expeditions with personalised advice for their activity and destination. From DofE expeditions to Everest Base Camp treks, appointments can be tailored to suit the customer and their requirements.

· Camping Kit List (60 minutes): Expert advice on tents, sleeping equipment, accessories and everything else a customer needs for a great camping trip. At certain stores, tents can be pitched inside to show customers exactly what they’re buying.

· Electronics Advice (30 minutes): Explanation and demonstration of GPS, smartwatch, fitness tracker and action camera devices.

· Outdoor Footwear Fitting (60 minutes): Staff measure the customer’s feet and discuss any existing concerns, before finding and fitting the perfect pair of boots/shoes for comfort and support on the trails.

· Rucksack Fitting (30 minutes): Experts work with customers to determine what features they need from their next rucksack, then select and fit a pack from the range.

At Snow+Rock customers will have access to the same plus Ski/Snowboard Boot Fitting (90 minutes).  A comprehensive fitting process for ski or snowboard boots, accommodating the customer’s experience level, strength, pronation/supination, width and instep volume as well as comfort and performance of the boot for their purpose. This can be supplemented with a custom footbed for a personalised fit and comfort, backed by Snow+Rock’s Ski Boot Fit Comfort Guarantee.

As part of the move to reopen stores to the public, the retailers have introduced the following safety measures to keep customers and staff safe in-store:

· Observing a queuing system when the store is at capacity

· Keeping a 2m distance from other customers and store staff

· Adhering to the one-way system laid out in store

· Following recommended hygiene practices

· Paying by card

New safety measures that will be followed by store staff include:

· Increased hand-washing

· Additional cleaning procedures

· PPE for in-store staff

· Social distancing measures behind the counter

· Closed fitting rooms

· Returns quarantined for 72 hours

· Contactless returns processing

· E-receipts to avoid receipt contact point

· Socially distanced fittings

· Encouraging customers to take items home to try on rather than trying in-store

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