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The outbreak of COVID-19, and its resulting shutdowns, quarantines, and other various changes to our way of life, have had a staggering effect on the world of business as a whole.

And yet, for all the closures we’ve seen businesses experience and the economic downturn many industries have faced, the need for warehousing remains as strong as ever. Various states’ stay-at-home orders have resulted in most people, well, staying at home, which has created a sharp increase in ecommerce orders and online shopping. Many online retail categories saw a growth of 74% in March 2020 alone compared to March 2018, the previous high for online sales over the last few years, and it shows no signs of stopping for as long as the quarantine lasts.

This means warehouses are in as high a demand as ever, and that can create a great opportunity for your warehouse to regain some ground it may have lost during the initial wave of shutdowns. But what can you do to make your warehouse as appealing as it can be?

 

Focus on sanitation: The biggest thing prospective clients will want right now is a focus on hygiene and cleanliness, no matter what type of product or inventory they’ll be having you store. When presenting your facilities to prospective clients or tenants, make sure to highlight all the steps you’ve taken to keep your workers, products, and customers safe from illness. Does your team have ready access to masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer when handling products? Are shipments sterilized or kept in a safe area as they arrive? Do you use sterile plastic shelving or germ free wire shelving at any point in the storage process? Being able to show off your sanitary storage methods will go a long way towards attracting customers in the current environment, and will show how adaptable you are to new conditions.

 

Display a range of storage options: Being able to demonstrate that your warehouse is versatile enough for a number of products can help attract a wider range of customers, or bigger clients who need to deal in a lot of products (like big-box retailers who carry both consumer goods and groceries). Alongside the standard pallet racks and wire shelving, highlight any other storage types you can provide, such as food shelving, walk in cooler shelving for cold storage, and document storage for retention of paper goods and long-term records.

 

Maintain open communication: With as chaotic as things are right now, your potential clients will need to know they can contact you with any issues that may come up, as well as get clear communication across every step of the supply chain. By providing constant contact and updates with your logistics provider and your warehouse tenants, you can help ease a lot of client anxiety and keep things flowing as easily as possible.

 

Safeguards for Employees: Finally, with various strikes around the country and frequent reporting on the conditions workers are exposed to during the pandemic, your clients will want to know you’re keeping your team as safe as possible. Is your warehouse set up to encourage social distancing, even while picking and stocking items? Can you provide sanitation equipment at various easy-to-access locations throughout the warehouse to encourage clean hands and reduced germs? Knowing your employees are safe and healthy inside your warehouse will make it more appealing to potential customers.

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