Tenants, stores and workers at the Achimota Retail Centre (ARC or Achimota Mall) have rallied behind management to roll out what may well be the most robust COVID-19 preventive regime in the retail sector.
The anti-COVID 19 campaign, was conceived as early as March 10 – but was activated at full blast by the shopping centre’s management last Monday, and involves virtually every trading entity and individual operating at the facility.
“There is, of course, a general effort to curb spread of the virus, but what makes our campaign (preventive measures) unique is that it involves every stakeholder on the ground – our tenants, the stores, their staff and attendants, ground workers, sanitary workers and the security, as well as the police unit stationed here,” Ben Appiah Darko, Operations Manager at ARC, told visiting newsmen.
Achimota Retail Centre, best known by its patrons as Achimota Mall, is the leading address for one-stop shopping and recreation for a large cluster of communities in the Ga East Municipality; including Dome, Tantra Hills, Kwabenya, Ashongman Estates and the Achimota township.
“We have installed highly efficient touch-free hand-sanitisers at all our main entrances, the walkways, the staircase and all high-traffic locations like our popular food-court and the washrooms,” said Mr. Darko.
The centre’s sanitary workers have been commissioned to do hourly disinfections of all solid surfaces in the washrooms and public places, and have been enjoined to ensure good hygiene at every part of the Centre at all times.
Animated pull-up banners and A1 boards bearing vital graphical information about how shoppers, visitors, as well as workers, should conduct themselves around the mall have been mounted at several locations, including the walkways, foyer and washrooms.
The Operations Manager said the most significant thing about ARC’s COVID-19 prevention campaign is that the shopping centre’s tenants, shops and the service providers have been extremely cooperative and proactive, and clearly share Management’s passion of ensuring that the mall remains the safest place to shop in the whole of Accra.
Mr. Darko attributes the impressive response of the mall’s tenants and service providers to the elaborate programme of education and training initiated by Management.
“Engagements with our tenants and their workers on COVID-19 have been very thorough, and we spent great effort on training our on-site staff about the characteristics and symptoms of the disease, how it is transmitted and the relevant emergency procedures to adopt in the event of a crisis,” said Mr. Darko.
Besides the broader preventive measures adopted by management for the entire centre, each store at the mall receives customers and patrons with its own set of in-house measures, common among which is the mandatory use of hand-sanitisers or rubbing-alcohol at the entrances and pay points.
The banks at the mall have however taken precautionary measures to an entirely new level, as they enforce government’s directive on social distancing by allowing only a handful of clients into their banking halls – where, after a mandatory cleansing with hand-sanitisers, they are attended to by officials in nose-masks and protective gloves.
“Being the preferred destination for one-stop shopping in the whole of the Ga East Municipality, we have always taken a serious view of the personal health and safety of our customers and tenants; outbreak of the COVID 19 pandemic has served to make us even more alert and determined to preserve our reputation as Accra’s most-friendly and most secure shopping centre,” said Mr. Darko.
He announced that in other to reinforce the impact of various preventive measures adopted by Management and the tenants, the Centre will be fumigated after business hours on Friday, March 27.