Is your retail store seeing declining traffic numbers? While you may have the best deals around, fantastic customer service or an ideal location, there’s one area that can turn retail shoppers away from your store you may not be aware of — cleanliness.
If a retail shopper enters your store and sees dirty surfaces, dusty shelves and sticky floors, they may turn right around and head back to the parking lot. What goes into making a clean store, and how can you keep your retail store looking sanitary to your customers?
What Makes a Clean Store?
While you most likely clean your store regularly with the help of employees or a janitorial service, certain areas have a bigger impact on your customers’ perception of your store’s cleanliness. Check out these areas that can have a significant effect on how clean your store appears to your shoppers.
A Clean Entryway
One of the first areas that a customer sees when walking into your place of business is the entryway, which is why it’s so important to have a clean entry that makes a good first impression.
The entryway bridges the gap between the outside world and the inside of your business and presents an opportunity for trash, dirt and grime to collect. Debris — such as cigarette butts, gum, footprints and leaves — can pile up rapidly if not regularly swept clean, leaving the appearance of an untidy entrance and overall dirty retail environment. Ensure a big impact on customers by cleaning the entrance to your store regularly.
Access to Sanitizer and Trash Cans
Even before a worldwide health crisis, customers liked the opportunity to have hand sanitizer present during their shopping experience, particularly near shopping carts. With hundreds of customers a day, keeping your carts, baskets and shopping bags sanitized is crucial for your retail space’s cleanliness.
Strategically place trash cans inside and outside of your store to limit littering and trash buildup. Something as simple as a waste bin on the end of every other aisle can drastically reduce littering in your aisles and improve overall appearance and cleanliness.
The flooring in your retail space will often showcase dirt and grime more than any other area. If your floors are carpeted, vacuum and shampoo them regularly. Vacuuming should be done daily, and carpets should be shampooed for stain removal as often as needed.
Most retail stores have tile, wood or concrete flooring. To ensure your hard surface flooring doesn’t build up with grime, wash your floors daily and aim to buff and shine them several times per season.
Your store’s restrooms are one area with the potential to have one of the biggest impacts on your customer. For many customers, a dirty restroom is equated with an overall unsanitary store. Newer, modern stores have large restrooms with bright lighting, multiple stalls, air fresheners and automatic sinks and dryers. The idea is to limit what customers have to touch while keeping the overall restroom experience pleasant.
All store restrooms should be inspected and cleaned multiple times per hour to ensure the space is clean and fully stocked with toilet paper, hand towels and hand soap.
The Importance of First Impressions
While a sanitary store is crucial for a safe and healthy retail environment, the perception that your store is clean is just as important to the overall success of your company. Retail space could be regularly sanitized and cleaned, but dirt in an area with no effect on your store’s actual sanitation, like litter in your parking lot, could give customers the impression you don’t take cleanliness seriously.
Balancing sanitation and cleanliness with your customers’ first impressions is important to maintain a trustworthy and spotless retail space.
Consider Exterior Appearance
Before customers even set foot in your store, the first thing they see is the parking lot and exterior façade of your building. Ensure your parking lot is regularly cleaned, carts and baskets are put away, hedges and grass are properly trimmed, and the front of your business appears clean and sanitary.
Strategically place trash cans around your parking lot and encourage shoppers to return their carts to the front of the store. Clean and powerwash the front of your building regularly to keep it spotless and stain-free.
Cleaning is Essential for Safety and Liability
A clean store is a good way to retain your customer base and it’s critical for maintaining a safe retail environment. Stains, spills and dust build up on the floor are potential slipping hazards that could lead to customer harm. Regularly wipe and wash your floors and place wet floor signs around these areas to prevent injury and potential lawsuits.
In the age of COVID-19, putting sanitation at the forefront of your priorities is pivotal in keeping your customers safe and healthy. Encourage masks and hand sanitizer usage when possible and sanitize shopping cart and basket handles regularly. Consider a service such as AmplifyClean™ for personalized solutions to keep your employees and customers safe.
How to Keep Your Store Clean
While it may seem overwhelming at first, keeping your store clean doesn’t have to be challenging. Regularly sanitizing, washing and keeping up with dirt and debris can make a huge difference in your store’s cleanliness. Consider the following ideas to keep your store as clean as possible:
- Create a daily checklist routine: One of the most difficult parts of keeping a clean retail space is figuring out when to do the cleaning. Create a checklist for your daily cleaning routine and assign different tasks to employees. When each task is done by a different team member, cleaning and sanitizing your space is quick and efficient.
- Make sure surfaces are sanitized properly: Properly sanitizing surfaces in your retail store — such as countertops, floors, cash registers and shopping cart handles — are critical to the cleanliness of your environment. Sanitize surfaces that employees and customers come into contact with daily.
- Hire a professional cleaning service: Sometimes keeping up with the cleanliness of your store can feel like too much, and that isn’t uncommon. Consider hiring a professional cleaning service team to take care of daily cleaning and sanitation so you can better focus on running the day-to-day operations of your business.
National Janitorial Solutions Can Help Keep Your Retail Store Clean
Store cleanliness plays a vital role in everything from making a memorable first impression and encouraging return customers to preserving your building and avoiding hazardous situations. For more information on hiring a professional cleaning service, contact the experts at NJS today!