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CSA Exclusive: L.L. Bean hikes up COVID-19 store compliance

A major outdoor apparel and gear retailer is ensuring that pandemic-related policies and procedures from headquarters are seen, understood and completed on time by stores.

Freeport, Maine-based L.L. Bean is utilizing compliance features of the Retail Zipline communication platform in all 54 stores across 18 U.S. states. Developed with feedback from operations and retail store leaders, the new features of the Retail Zipline platform include the ability to send messages to the entire store fleet in seconds. Messages can be targeted and managed by location and role so only the teams who need to know are alerted.

Retail Zipline also now enables L.L. Bean to conduct health and safety surveys to obtain confirmation employees have read and understand communications. The retailer can also use surveys as a tool for associates to report on personal health and whether they have been exposed to the virus. The responses are time-stamped and rolled up to headquarters to ensure compliance.

Other compliance features include a birds-eye view for headquarters shows which stores are meeting COVID-19 safety standards and which ones might need additional support or training, and a centralized resource library of in-store protocols. The files auto-filter by geographic region so individuals only see what is relevant to their specific shelter-in-place laws, but can easily search for additional documents.

Furthermore, store managers can share information in a personalized way so employees know what they need to do, and when. Auditing features track compliance of stores and can verify who read messages.

“The health and safety of our customers and employees is our top priority,” said Corey Bouyea, senior manager of store operations at L.L. Bean. “Retail Zipline has given us a seamless way to communicate new processes, policies and protocols to our stores as they reopen. In addition, we’ve been able to launch a robust store reboot certification process that leverages Zipline’s surveys functionality, allowing us to track compliance, capture photos and ‘certify’ our stores for reopening from our home office in Maine. As a result, our ability to communicate, educate our teams and track what’s actually been done in stores has improved tenfold – ensuring record high compliance.”

Regional Midwestern grocer Hy-Vee Inc. is also ensuring employees have access to the latest COVID-19 safety protocols with the Retail Zipline platform. Post-pandemic, the platform will continue to serve as the primary communication method to ensure all stores are delivering to brand standards.

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