Last summer, we launched our Stay Safe Pledge, a set of health and safety guidelines for both businesses and consumers. Our local businesses and hotel partners have taken this pledge, demonstrating their commitment to helping minimize the spread of COVID-19 and keeping us safe and healthy.
In this blog series, we will interview a Discover Saratoga member who has taken the pledge and discuss what actions they have implemented to keep their employees and customers safe. We will also discuss the impact COVID-19 has had on their business and their outlook for the future. Today’s Q&A is with Marianne Barker and Maddy Zanetti, owners of Impressions of Saratoga.
How has your business changed post-COVID?
We have regularly adjusted our hours to accommodate the ever-changing flow of visitors, staffing and maintenance protocols. More emphasis has been placed on our online presence. We implemented an entirely new website and shopping cart – redesigned and upgraded to make online shopping more effective and efficient for both ourselves and our customers. We had already planned on doing the upgrade, but COVID made it essential and showed us more ways to improve it.
We never would have believed that masks would become a large part of our offerings for sale!
What enhanced procedures do you have to keep your customers safe?
We have added a clear plexi divider at our cash out area, floor spacers to keep folks waiting in line properly distanced, at times limited the number of customers allowed in the store, mask required to enter the store, hand sanitizing stations are available, disinfect all highly trafficked areas regularly, keep our front door propped open, daily floor disinfection, all employees masked at all times in the store, quarantine any garments that were tried on for 24 hours, free local delivery, curbside pickups. We offer private shopping if customers would like to come in before or after hours by themselves or with a small group of friends.
Have you noticed a big difference in the way people shop and what they are purchasing?
We have been lucky that our loyal customers have supported us throughout. We began to offer free local delivery and curbside pickup as soon as we were closed down last year and have continued that service because the great participation. We created “Saratoga Porch Packages” filled with all kinds of local food products and gifts to make shopping easier. Saratoga has such great porches that the packages are easy to drop off safely.
Will you continue to use any of the new initiatives you started due to the pandemic post COVID?
All of them
Why should people feel safe coming to your business?
We personally care that we and our families’ stay healthy so they can rest assured that we do the same for our customers. We care about keeping our community and our visitors safe. By mid-April, all of our eligible staff will have been completely vaccinated and protected.
What is your outlook for the future?
We are being conservatively optimistic and are hoping for a continual slow increase in the number of people safely visiting our store and hoping for fans allowed to attend our outdoor venues, even with attendance caps.