A BUSY AND CHALLENGING HOLIDAY SEASON
The holiday season is fast approaching and retailers are gearing up for the inevitable rush of consumers. It is estimated that U.S. consumers will spend nearly 1.5 trillion dollars this holiday season. That accounts for 20% of total annual retail spending. It is no wonder that retailers are making every effort to claim a slice of the pie.
With more and more customers choosing to spend their dollars online, twenty-first-century brick-and-mortar retailers will need to plan ahead to take advantage of any and all in-store foot traffic. In order to make your retail operation stand out you will need to meet the needs and expectations of the ever-fickle U.S. consumer.
Providing exceptional customer service and offering holiday promotions are tried and true approaches to increased holiday sales. But in a post-pandemic world, cleanliness is still high on the list of consumer expectations. In fact, a whopping 93% of U.S. consumers state that they would not return to a dirty store.
So, how can you meet consumer expectations for store cleanliness? We are glad you asked! Here are a few tips for maintaining a clean and sanitary retail environment for your staff and customers this holiday season:
MIND YOUR ENTRYWAY
Ensuring that the entryway to your retail store is clean and inviting is the best way to draw consumers into your establishment. Make sure that sidewalks and parking lots are cleared of snow and debris and consider pressure washing your storefront prior to the holidays.
Display windows are often the consumer’s first impression of your storefront. They are a tried and true method of highlighting your wares and can often make a passerby a customer. Windows and doors on your storefront should be cleaned thoroughly every day and spot-cleaned regularly during business hours. Be sure that displays featured at the storefront are always stocked and clean.
ROLL OUT THE WELCOME MAT
If you operate in a northern or mountain state the holiday season is sure to bring rain, leaves, snow, and slush. These elements – along with deicing agents and salt – can wreak havoc on your floors and create potential hazards for your staff and customers.
Utilizing high-quality entry mats reduces the potential for slip-and-fall accidents and protects your floors from the dirt, grime, and salt being tracked in from the outdoors. According to the International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA) six feet of matting at a facility’s entrance will remove 40% of tracked-in soil, 12 feet of matting will remove 80% of tracked-in soil, and 36 feet of matting will remove almost all of it.
KEEP FLOOR CLEANING EQUIPMENT HANDY
It is important to ensure that entry mats are vacuumed at least once per day and that they are professionally cleaned on a regular basis. Likewise, carpets and hard-surface floors should be regularly vacuumed throughout the day.
Keep additional floor cleaning equipment like mops, dust brooms, and wet floor signage at the ready to address wet floors, spills, and any tracked-in debris. Also, consider keeping a commercial cleaning company on retainer to regularly buff your hard-surface flooring and deep clean your carpets to help minimize damage from tracked-in soils.
MAKE CLEANING AND SANITIZING PART OF YOUR DAILY ROUTINE
In a post-pandemic world, after-hours cleaning is no longer enough. Customers want to see that you are committed to their health and safety. This means regular cleaning of high-touch surfaces, restrooms, and flooring. Consider hiring a day porter or matron service to manage these tasks for you or add additional staff.
Keep in mind that display fixtures and the items that they hold are being touched throughout the day. Be sure to include these in your high-touch cleaning and disinfecting protocol.
Even though most restrictions have been lifted with regard to public gatherings, people still expect to have access to hand sanitizer and face masks. Make certain that you are making these items readily available to your staff and customers.