During the holiday season, U.S. consumers will spend over three trillion dollars. These sales account for nearly 20% of the retail sales for the year. With more and more consumers choosing to spend their dollars online and 93% of customers stating they wouldn’t return to a dirty store, retail stores must make their business stand out from the crowd. During this busy time of year, follow these four cleaning tips to keep your store clean and inviting to customers.
1. Roll Out the Welcome Mat
The holiday season also comes with winter weather. Rain, slush, snow, and salt can wreak havoc on your floors. Having proper entry matting not only protects the life of your floors, it can prevent dangerous slip-and-fall accidents. The Carpet and Rug Institute recommends 12 to 15 feet of matting at building entries, but, during wet weather season, you may want to add even more. According to ISSA, six feet of matting at a facility’s entrance will remove 40 percent of soil, 12 feet of matting will remove 80 percent of soil, and 36 feet of matting will remove 99 percent of soil. You should also consider using a wet/dry vacuum to extract water and soil from your mats daily and an air mover to keep floors dry between cleanings. This will reduce the amount water and debris that gets tracked through your facility. It will also extend the life of your matting.
Consider investing in a wet/dry vacuum for entry matting.
2. Don’t Get Caught Short Staffed
More customers in your store means you’ll need to be adequately staffed at all times. However, your staff will likely also want time off to spend time with family and do their own holiday shopping. In addition to hiring additional salespeople and cashiers, consider hiring additional cleaning staff to make sure restrooms, floors, and windows are always looking their best.
3. The Devil is in the Details
Appearance is everything in retail, and the customer experience begins before they even enter your store. According to a 2011 survey, 52% of adults won’t enter a business if it looks dirty from the outside. Don’t lose sight of the details. Assign staff to remove smudges and handprints from windows and doors and sweep or shovel outside throughout the day. Create a cleaning plan the ensures the most frequented areas of your store are getting the attention they need.
Customers avoid stores that look dirty from the outside.
4. Stop the Spread
Customer loyalty isn’t the only reason to keep up appearances. Coughing, sneezing customers will also be coming through your store. Prevent infectious disease from spreading by putting extra focus on touchpoints such as counters, doorknobs, and point-of-sale systems. Consider electrochemically-activated (ECA) solutions as a safe but effective way to kill 99.99% of bacteria and stop the spread of bacteria and viruses.
The holidays are a stressful time of year for the retail industry. But with a well-prepared staff and a plan in place, you can make it through the next few weeks unscathed.