Delivery safety during a pandemic and civil unrest

LP experts from Williams-Sonoma and Domino’s discuss how 2020 has impacted the delivery model

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues without an end in sight, retailers are altering their delivery methods to keep both their consumers and employees safe. More and more people have adopted home delivery as their primary means of receiving merchandise or food, and new risks regarding profitability, safety and brand reputation are beginning to pop up.

Debbie Maples, vice president of global loss prevention, corporate security and facilities with Williams-Sonoma, and Van Carney, national director of safety, security and loss prevention with Domino’s Pizza, discussed newfound delivery challenges yesterday during NRF PROTECT ALL ACCESS.

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2020 has brought about a slew of challenges that affect delivery, including civil unrest that blocked roads and thus reduced truck access, fraud resulting from the change in how people shop, and an uptick in violence and theft due to high unemployment and mounting financial pressures.

These issues and more led Maples to emphasize the need for retailers to be “fast, proactive and reactive.” She said businesses need to evaluate how these risks impact them and plan accordingly, along with ensuring their partners and leaders understand as well. Both she and Carney mentioned the need to get in front of trends during an ever-changing environment.

Playing offense helps reduce risk later and the need to play defense when unexpected issues arise. “Change or fail,” Maples warned.

Part of learning to change comes with the safety procedures that Williams-Sonoma and Dominos have implemented this year. While the two have different products and business models, both have made health and safety their top priority. Procedures such as daily wellness and screening checks for employees, cleaning all areas of a store, wearing masks, booties and gloves during delivery, and utilizing contactless delivery have all kept their employees and customers safe.

Outside of cleanliness, Domino’s requires its employees to learn to drive safely, conduct safety checks on their vehicles, and train on robbery prevention. As drivers are often on the road late into the night, Domino’s wants to ensure its employees are staying safe. Carney emphasized that the most important delivery is the one that gets the employee delivered back home to their friends and family.

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