The COVID-19 pandemic has affected people right across the board, all over the world. Business have also had to adapt to new regulations remain operational. This is particularly relevant to supermarkets, who provide daily food and other essential groceries. Being an essential business, government imposed directions on this sector to govern high safety for grocery shoppers.
Dutch franchisee Leussink Retail Groep operates 7 Jumbo supermarkets in its portfolio. They tackled the thorny issue of hygiene and social distancing with a solution made up of Hikvision cameras, SmartPole sanitizing stations and the SmartPole platform for safe shopping.
Governments are imposing safety requirements and food retailers are at the forefront being one of the essential sectors during the pandemic. They focus on providing a safe environment in order to make safe grocery shopping available to people.
Regulations require active crowd management within the stores, as a way to reduce the risk of cross-infection. Originally, this was done by restricting the amount of shopping carts in circulation and/or posting staff members at each shop entry. This proves to be very costly, with stores open a large part of the day, 7 days a week.
Customers are required to disinfect both their hands and shopping trolleys. They need to be able to do this effectively using a friendly sanitization method.
Social distancing guidelines are often required to be strongly upheld in retail outlets. The daily amount of customers in Leussinks grocery stores range from hundreds to thousands, depending on the size, so crowd management was difficult. They looked for ways of managing the number of people in their stores at any one time to facilitate this.
In addition to complying with Government rules, they also wanted to provide peace of mind and a safe shopping experience to their customers.
SmartPole Solutions, a Dutch member of Hikvision’s Technology Partner Program, stepped up to the plate, delivering a comprehensive solution based on Hikvision Dual Lens People Counting Network Cameras (DS-2CD6825G0/C-IS), their SmartPole Sanitizers and LeftClick software.
SmartPole’s high end sanitizing stations were installed at store entrances. These sanitizers provide shop visitors a spray dispenser to disinfect their hands and a tissue dispenser to clean their shopping trolleys and scanners before they enter the store.
On top of that, the sanitizers carry large screens with narrowcasting capabilities providing owners to publish all sorts of content like shop hygiene protocols and discounted products.
The output from the Hikvision people counting solution is displayed on the SmartPole screens. Essentially, SmartPole’s software platform is able to capture the people count store captured by the cameras and display it on screen, using the LeftClick software.
The narrowcasting software publishes clear and friendly messages for the shop visitors providing them with insight on the crowd levels in the store. When this percentage approaches the maximum crowd, the screen displays a friendly warning. Grocery shoppers can also see when the number goes down, making it safe for them to enter.
The solution operates based on a calculation that no more than a certain number should be in a shop, depending on its size. This means that there are few enough people inside to make social distancing possible. In this way, everyone can shop for their essentials more safely.
The full solution is managed using Hik-ProConnect software integrated with the LeftClick software on the SmartPole platform.
Tijn Leussink, owner of Leussink Retail Groep, says: "We were impressed by the high-quality, integrated solution. We were under pressure from the government to provide a safer shopping environment and with SmartPole we have succeeded well".
Thanks to this partnership, shoppers at Jumbo feel safe when they shop for their groceries. People counting data can also provide valuable insights for retailers to help them improve their business. This is something that the team at Leussink can consider for the future.