With new COVID-19 systems working well in Luton town centre since non-essential retail reopened, Luton Business Improvement District (BID) will be catching up with fellow town centre partners and BID businesses to find out how things are going.
The first in the series of interviews is Roy Greening – BID director and General Manager of The Mall Luton…
“We are lucky in Luton to have a very solid town centre partnership , which includes The Mall Luton, Luton BID, Luton Borough Council, Luton Culture Trust, Love Luton and other key stakeholders. Having this strong foundation has definitely helped during the difficult COVID-19 period and moving forward, as we have all been able to jointly prepare reopening plans and ultimately enable town centre shoppers and guests to return feeling safe and confident,” said Roy.
“The first day non-essential stores were able to reopen was the busiest, and whilst it has been slightly quieter since, we are still seeing a large number of people visiting The Mall Luton, especially to our most popular stores . This is really positive and we are confident that numbers will grow.”
Among some of the many plans for reopening, the centre’s stores were given a Luton BID COVID-19 information pack. Roy says all their measures have been welcomed by businesses and shoppers. Here’s some:
- Real-time footfall technology
- A new traffic light system which indicates how busy the centre is
- Intensive cleaning
- Clear signage and barriers
- New easy-to-follow routes
- Additional hand sanitisers and encouraging everyone to wash their hands regularly
- Queuing systems
“We are a responsible shopping centre, so the health and safety of visitors, customers, and employees has been our priority above all else. We have a great team of cleaning personnel, security staff, essential store support, police officers and other key workers at The Mall Luton, and a lot of work has gone on behind the scenes. We are pleased that guests have been very patient and understanding of the need for limited capacity and social distancing in our stores.”
Roy says one of the most successful measures at The Mall Luton has been the centre’s advanced green-amber-red traffic light system, which is being used to maintain clear and consistent communication about the safest times to shop.
“The state-of-the-art technology tracks peak and non-peak trading times and compares the stats with historical data so that we can tell when the centre is nearing maximum capacity. Our centre team are alerted using real-time SMS messages so that they can accurately assess and control guest flows. It is working tremendously well for us.”
With the Government announcing that restaurants can also reopen from 4th July, what now for The Mall Luton?
“We will continue to work closely with our retail partners and town centre stakeholders, and look forward to footfall and spend growing over the coming weeks and months as confidence grows. We will also have additional businesses opening within The Mall and details are available on the website.
“Thank you to everyone who has played a part in opening the town centre up again for the community.”
For more information on Luton Together and COVID-19 measures in Luton town centre visit: https://lutonbid.org/coronavirus-updates/