Industry Covid-19 Call: Key messages & resources

Industry Covid-19 Call: Key messages & resources

23 March 2020

On Thursday (19.03.20) Revo held an industry call on COVID-19. This was a follow up call to the one held two weeks ago that covered business continuity and crisis management. 


We are living in exceptional times and it is more important than ever to come together as a community, to work collaboratively to support staff and our customers the best we can. For Revo members, a new information hub has been formed on the website and we will continue to hold weekly calls to provide practical support to you.


Speakers for the call:

Patrick Holdaway, Operational Lead for the National Business Crime Centre 
Cliff Lee, Head of Wellbeing, Retail Trust



  • Police additional powers, response to crime and crime reporting
  • Supporting vulnerable staff (extended to cover vulnerable and disabled shoppers i.e. guide dog owners)
  • Members forum covering current challenges not covered above.


Patrick Holdaway, Operational Lead, National Business Crime Centre


  • This continues to be a fast moving situation with announcements happening on a daily basis.
  • Continue to report crime
  • Follow isolation policies and processes
  • COVID-19 Bill not yet in place – once these are the detail will be signposted to.
  • Retailers reporting decline in footfall; seeing changes to 24 hour opening to restock, reduced opening and special opening hours for vulnerable and elderly customers
  • Police responses redistributing to other areas? Seeing an increase in verbal abuse to staff, FEEDBACK on your areas would be welcome to Patrick.
  • Cybercrime – be mindful of an increase, best practice is no different what is the usual.


Cliff Lee, Head of Wellbeing RetailTrust:

  • Supports individuals in retail and their general wellbeing. Click here for the full list of resources from RetailTrust. 
  • Seeing an adverse impact following reduced working hours,
  • Supports all those working in retail – customer service roles and partners, logistics and delivery not just shop floor.
  • 24/7 help line, call 0808 801 0808 or email
  • Supports non-members as well as members. Click here to access the Wellbeing portal – opened up to general use which has articles specific to covid-19 
  • Provides financial wellbeing support.
  • Be mindful of the effects social isolation can cause – encourage physical activities such as walking, taking a break from the computer screen.
  • Link to reliable sources and information.


Safety & Security Committee

• Supporting retailers as much as possible maintain communications.


Portfolio impact: European centres and closure procedure

  • PLAN, PLAN, PLAN have your procedure ready for learning ahead of any action that may be taken for reduction of hours or reduction of offer (essential services)
  • Closure – partial or full closure happens very quickly you will need to be prepared. Italy example, the notice to close by the Italian Government was given at 5pm on a Saturday.
  • Have your PR and media statements drafted: pre prepare the statements from a legal/CEO perspective and have these in place. Link to PR template
  • Understand your official checklist
  • Local action – stores closing for self-isolating, be ready to support this action.
  • Requests from media – agree how much information you want to give away and brief your centre teams.
  • Service providers, declining footfall, plan your security and cleaning provisions to support the level of service you need.
  • McArthurGlen 17 centres closed across portfolio



What do you want to communicate? 

How do you what to communicate?

Who do you want to communicate it with?


  • Prioritise the actions correctly. Plan plan plan the more you do the better. Contact: Paul Griffin
  • Have your plans ready to be put in place
  • Full close down – in essence this means moving to critical: seal the site.
  • Partial closure – food, chemists stay open as consequence the centre would stay open
  • Protective Security: re jig shifts and accommodate security officers locally if need be.
  • Agree personnel – including dog handlers if used to patrol both externally and internally with high viz – to deter nefarious intent.
  • If your centre has a designated (paid for) police teams – understand the level of this agreement – will the officers be redeployed?
  • Know and understand full lockdown planning
  • Understand your site – are barriers required to support full closure.
  • Plan for the worst.
  • The situation is fast moving; there is a need to be agile. Impress upon security teams the new threat.
  • Understand the need to maintain properties if partially empty.
  • Plan to react to any announcements by UK Government.
  • When forwarding any articles check the source is official.
  • Intend to keep centres open, until told to close. Partial opening will keep the nation fed and well
  • Resilience of resources –split teams. Plan and prepare have the arrangements in place ready to go.


Fire Safety:

Whilst there has been no relaxation or amendment to current legislation or regulations, the concept of “reasonably practicable” lies at the heart of the British health and safety system. It is a key part of the general duties of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. 



“ALARP” is short for “as low as reasonably practicable”. “SFAIRP” is short for “so far as is reasonably practicable”. The two terms mean essentially the same thing and at their core is the concept of “reasonably practicable”; this involves weighing a risk against the trouble, time and money needed to control it. Thus, ALARP describes the level to which the HSE would expect to see workplace risks controlled.

Whilst where possible we must maintain compliance, if it is not possible under the current situation, as long as we can prove that we have done everything we can to either reduce the risk As Low As Reasonably Practicable (ALARP) or taken appropriate action to prevent anyone getting hurt So Far As Is Reasonably Practicable ( SFAIRP) then we will not be prosecuted.

In this case I believe that the appropriate actions have been taken to comply with ALARP / SFAIRP and therefore we can do no more and to put any further criteria in place would actually increase the risk to employees, therefore this is the correct call.

As Covid-19 continues to place restrictions on the business, we will become non-compliant in a number of areas where it is simply a greater risk to life to try to prevent the non-compliance than it is to accept it and ensure that we have done everything we can ALARP and or SFAIRP, that we have suitably recorded the reasoning behind the decision and that we have informed those that will be affected by that decision. This thought process needs to be incorporated into everything we do until we are able to operate Business As Usual.


Full list of resources:

Download the London Fire Brigade Fire Safety Guidance

Download our Covid-19 PR template (Version 1, Version 2).

Click here to download the latest RetailTrust Guidance

Click here for more information on RetailTrust services.

Download the NBCC Crime Prevention Advice

Download Aviva's Pandemic Planning Guidance