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Could this smart new device help build consumer trust in the battle to drive instore sales?

Antony Hawman
04 August 2020

As retail environments begin to see a sense of normality, combining elegance and hygiene in-store is going to be key for brands and retailers wanting to attract consumers back.

With footfall down by more than 40% across the UK (and even lower in London), shoppers need all the encouragement they can get to return to stores.

With face coverings now mandatory in stores across England, another way to instill confidence could be implementing automatic sanitisation devices, such as 99POINT9.

99POINT9 is the only automated door handle-disinfecting system to have been approved for use by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Remarkably it’s not a device born in the COVID-19 era but conceived by entrepreneur and founder Simon Sassoon some 14 years ago.

In a 2006 New York Times article, Sassoon was credited as having “seen the future” when it came to germs and their spread. His response to this threat was an automatic device that sprays hospital-grade disinfectant on to door handles, counteracting dangerous germs and viruses, and which goes way beyond the daily hygiene routine of companies. Even those that have been stepped up in the era of COVID.

A UK company – and whose medical advisory board includes Tony Bourne, former CEO of the British Medical Association – 99POINT9 has released research data which shows that:

  • 75% of consumers say their attitude to hygiene has changed “permanently” as a result of COVID-19.
  • Only 50% feel protected from a disease when they see a cleaner wipe a door handle.
  • 22% have a “high level of trust” in the owners of public buildings to maintain hygiene standards.
  • 75% said they would be more likely to visit a building if there was a visible, automatic cleaning device.

So how does it work?

“The 99POINT9 is fixed to a door 15 inches above the handle, knob or push plate and automatically sprays a burst of quick-drying, isopropanol and quaternary ammonium compound-based formula that disinfects the door handle, killing 99.9% of all germs,” says Sassoon.

“Our technology also disinfects the entire door handle, not just the top, but underneath as well. That is exceedingly difficult to do, but we have done it.

“Also, any purely alcohol-based bactericide, like hand sanitiser, is effective only for as long as it is wet. It kills the germs initially but as soon as the alcohol dries, bacteria and viruses start colonising again. Our formula has residual efficacy. It kills 99.9% of bacteria and viruses, even after it has dried.

“By disinfecting the door handle at regular intervals – as frequently as every fifteen minutes – the 99POINT9 acts as an ‘invisible janitor’, consistently protecting people at a critical point of cross-contamination – the door handle,” he adds.

Sassoon, who to this point has been best known as a perfumer, says the device is cost-effective, simple to install, and easy to maintain.

“With door handles, you are very exposed to the frailties of human nature. Will people regularly wash their hands effectively? Unfortunately, they do not. Will you trust a company, a shop or a big office to clean all their door handles, thoroughly, every 15 minutes? It just does not happen. With the 99POINT9, you kill all the germs, all the time, and its automatic – you do not have to remember to do it. It is the ultimate peace of mind.”

For consumers and staff, visible (yet effective and elegant) safety procedures will help with peace of mind and confidence, now and long into the future. Being obsessed with hygiene will be just one of many consumer shifts that retailers will need to respond to – and fast.

For more information on 99POINT9 visit:

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