30 March 2020
By Mary Bermingham
A north Wicklow business totally reinvented itself in 48 hours, on account of the Covid-19 threat.
Management at Absolute, a bray based marketing, print and design company, were approached by a leading retailer a fortnight ago to rapidly produce instore signage to promote safer queuing.
Qsafe, a modular system of floor graphics, posters and barrier signs allows retailers and service providers to create a logical and safe queuing system for their customers. The durable, washable and waterproof signage range carries simple instruction and can be applied to internal or external queuing arrangements.
Within days, the business was swamped with orders, and what was a three person team now comprises fifteen workers involved in the production, sales and delivery of the innovative Qsafe signage, that sells online at https://qsafe.ie
Available in English and Irish versions, there is also a dedicated signage pack for pharmacy retailers, highlighting queues for prescription collection and other pharmacist services.
Packs are suited to any style of premises or checkout layout, and a video explains how and where to apply the laminated stickers and signs, in order to comply with recommended physical distancing guidelines.
The yellow and black graphics design follows the standard brand guidelines of other COVID-19 communications. Instantly recognisable as a safety instruction, they provide customer and staff reassurance that they are adhering to safe distancing.
Standard Qsafe packs are sold online and delivered within 24 hours anywhere in the country. There is also considerable interest in the product coming from UK retailers. Larger orders from Irish and UK multiple retailers are coming in, including from the independent retail groups SuperValu and Centra, and Absolute is looking to expand their operation further to cater for demand.
The products were designed to meet a basic need to protect customers and retail staff, by minimising physical interaction while shopping, Dermot Malone, Director of Absolute, says.
“Those trading in essential services like food retail and pharmacy recognise a huge demand for their services just now. But they are also very conscious of keeping their employees and customers safe. This simple system means they have one less hassle to deal with”.
So far, thousands of individual retail packs have been produced and distributed by Qsafe, with production upscaling on a daily basis.
The newest addition to the range, currently creating most demand, is a pack of 50 ‘Keep Safe Distance’ badges for employees in any work situation. They are a reminder to both colleagues and members of the public in any work place to practice physical distancing.
“Apart from customers queuing, we had business owners worried about their own staff momentarily forgetting and getting too close to a colleague. The bright yellow badges are an instant reminder to stay safe”, the Qsafe creator says.
Plans to make family packs of the impactful badges available on the website are also underway, on account of concerns for more vulnerable family members out and about for exercise and recreation.
So too, Qsafe will shortly have signage packs for businesses operating in outdoor spaces. Cone systems and weather-proof signage will guide safe transit around the trading area, protecting customers and staff.
Branded disposable coffee cups with the Keep Safe Distance message are also available, as are yellow hi-vis vests, t-shirts and polo shirts for staff and security personnel managing outdoor queues.