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Brunei’s Good Home adjusts to Covid-19 realities

Good Home's the staff have access to hand sanitisers, gloves and face masks, and the shops – including the counters, trolleys, racks, the items on display, floors, and the glass—are disinfected daily before opening.

Good Home's the staff have access to hand sanitisers, gloves and face masks, and the shops – including the counters, trolleys, racks, the items on display, floors, and the glass—are disinfected daily before opening.

Good Home, a Bruneian home improvement store chain, is adjusting to new realities brought about by the recent outbreak of Covid-19 in the sultanate. The retailer with three stores and an e-commerce platform has kept to its usual operating hours but has seen sales fall by 30 per cent since the disease entered the country.

Brunei's Covid-19 outbreak was among the most recent in Southeast Asia. The sultanate of 460 000 people reported its first Covid-19 case on 9 March. It is among the least affected countries in the region, with 135 recorded infections and one death as of 6 April.

Although the country has closed its borders to both inbound and outbound travel and prohibited diners from eating in restaurants, it has not implemented a complete lockdown. Economic activity continues in the oil-producing state.

To ensure the safety of customers and staff, Good Home has implemented social distancing measures, including marking floors with cues to guide shoppers on where to stand at checkout and allow for a one-metre distance between them, company officials said.

Good Home has not limited the number of people entering the stores, but officials said that concerns over Covid-19 have led to fewer walk-in patrons, who spend less time inside the shop than they used to. "They directly buy and go," company manager David Lau said.

Inventory has been unaffected, officials said, since suppliers from China have resumed economic activity.

Good Home has been enjoying brisk sales of protective products such as face masks, hand sanitisers, disinfectants, sprayers, coveralls and cleaning agents. These items are replenished every two weeks.

| 8 April 2020 | 12:11


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