- The Plus Awards
As in-store shopping resumes across the country, Keen believes it’s important that retailers take the responsibility to keep their employees and customers safe. Thus, its new Fit Shield, designed to create a together-but-protected shoe-fitting experience in stores. The unobtrusive design features an impermeable, ultra-clear vinyl plastic shield to protect against coughs, sneezes and communicable diseases, like Covid-19, while still allowing a store employee to consult and fit a shopper properly.
“It’s important for us to recognize the new norms and be mindful of the human interactions inherent within our footwear business,” says Chris Heffernan, general manager at Keen. “The Fit Shield offers peace of mind and an additional level of safety for retailers and shoppers alike. Enhancing safety and putting our values in motion is what Keen has always been about.”
With social distancing norms taking hold and some retailers limiting the number of shoppers allowed in stores at one time, the Fit Shield offers added confidence. For the retail associates, the lightweight, six-foot tall frame can be easily moved in any high-traffic area and is ideal for stool-height service during shoe fitting.
“We’ve been talking about what it looks like to safely transition our employees back into the workplace while also determining what kinds of personal protective equipment we can offer. The Keen Fit Shield fits the bill for our associates as well as for our customers,” says Doug Sorenson, president of Haney Shoe Stores in Omaha, NE. “Our customers trust us for their footwear choices, and it’s awesome to be able to offer a safe option for finding their fit with Keen.”
The Keen Fit Shield represents the evolution of the brand’s Together We Can Help program. In late March, as the pandemic gripped the nation, Keen donated 100,000 pairs of shoes globally to those impacted by the virus. In addition, the company converted a production line at its own factory in Thailand to make non-medical, cloth face masks from upcycled materials sourced from its shoes. Keen donated 250,000 of these masks to everyday heroes and essential workers, including Fred Meyer grocery clerks and their families, along with Keen store partner employees as well as its own employees, families and friends.
Keen Fit Shields were made available in limited quantities to retailers, beginning in June. Retailers interested in possibly obtaining one can contact their Keen Utility territory manager for details.