UAE-based retail conglomerate Al-Futtaim has launched an innovative web-based crowd management tool to ensure safety of store customers, while adhering to social distancing guidelines. The technology solution helps manage the flow of customers to maximum 30% of store capacity, ensuring the safety of customers and retailers.
The quick and convenient service was developed in response to the Dubai Government’s health and safety directives following the announcement by the Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management to reopen malls and retail stores.
Also read: UAE shopping malls reopen with reduced hours
The service allows customers to either book a time slot in advance or walk into the store after scanning a QR code using a virtual queuing system, ensuring there is never any overcrowding or heavy queueing in the stores. Reminder texts are sent 30 minutes before booking, with slots lasting a maximum of two hours and another reminder text being sent when a customer is approaching the end of their allocated time slot.
The pilot was launched across three ACE stores in Dubai at Dubai Festival City, Sheikh Zayed Road and Motor City. Since the implementation of the system, no customer has been admitted to ACE without a check-in. Al-Futtaim is also looking at other retailers where it would make sense to implement.
“Our focus is on ensuring we are abiding by all directives issued by the Dubai Government to keep our customers, employees and retailers safe. Upon announcement of retail stores re-opening, we quickly collaborated with our teams to develop a solution that would ensure we could fully comply with all precautionary measures. We are pleased to announce this in our ACE stores and hope this provides customers with additional peace of mind when visiting for their essential needs,” said Regis Schultz, president – retail, Al-Futtaim.
The crowd management service is fully integrated with Apple and Android operating systems and uses push notifications and Apple Wallet notifications. No individual information is stored, ensuring complete data privacy for customers.
Al-Futtaim opened its two malls in Dubai, Dubai Festival City Mall and Festival Plaza, ahead of Ramadan in order to better serve the community during the holy month.