How to Spring Clean your Retail Premises

A clean and inviting shopfront will do far more than just attract customers. While cleanliness is important in presenting the right image for your business, it’s also a matter of health and safety.

A hygienic retail environment is important for the wellbeing of both staff and customers. If you’re serving food, the legal requirements are even stricter to prevent illness to the public.

Cleaning shop window

© xalien / Shutterstock.com

Employees expect certain standards in their place of work, so regardless of appealing to customers, providing a suitable workplace is a fundamental responsibility for any employer; it can influence how your staff work, while increasing their morale and productivity. It can improve how employees operate on a day-to-day basis.

Shops have to work at a fast pace, so keeping the place clean, tidy and organised can help to tick all the boxes.

 

How do you spring clean your shop?

The individual demands of cleaning a shop depend on what it sells. Clothing retailers, supermarkets, department stores, car showrooms, pet shops, beauty salons, food outlets, hardware stores and the many other different types of retail premises will all have slightly different requirements.

Arguably, the most important task is cleaning the windows. After all, your window display is a key element of your visual presentation. Research has shown 95% of people are influenced by the exterior appearance of a retail store, forming an opinion of your business in just seven seconds.

First impressions count: 52% of shoppers have admitted to being deterred from entering a store because it looks uninviting. No one can afford to lose this amount of potential business, so window cleaning is something you must keep on top of.

Cleanliness and shine reflect your standards as a business person. Displays of products and attractive lighting will be wasted if your windows are dirty!

 

Should you hire a cleaner?

Many retailers wonder if they should hire a professional cleaner in their shop or retail unit. You may feel your own employees should be able to keep on top of cleanliness. Perhaps you consider it a waste of valuable funds to pay a professional cleaning company when you can do it yourself.

The importance of an inviting shopfront can’t be over-emphasised. Since 2012, the online market share in the UK has grown from 10.6% to 24.3%. Regardless of the pandemic, people have been shopping more online for some years. Keeping your shopfront in pristine condition to attract more people inside can be a worthwhile investment.

As well as keeping the outside and inside area clean and inviting, another important consideration is the flooring. Whether you have carpets, laminate, tiles, rubber matting or any other type of flooring, if it’s dirty, it ruins the appearance of your shop.

Entrance matting is a major part of the first impression a customer gets, so it must be tended. If you don’t have enough time, or the skills, to carry out a regular clean of your shop, hire a professional cleaning firm, rather than letting it slide.

 

Impact of social media

A significant threat that has emerged to retail stores in recent years is the growth of social media. If a customer posts a picture of your retail premises looking shabby, it can be shared indefinitely via social media in a very short time, ruining your reputation.

How many customer reviews have you seen that comment on the cleanliness of a shop? Research has revealed 88% of consumers consider online reviews “highly trustworthy”, with 79% avoiding a hotel or restaurant with negative reviews complaining of dirty restrooms.

Similarly, 45% of consumers say they will avoid a retail store if they have seen a customer review or photographs showing it looking dirty. One thing people want is a clean environment – perhaps even more so since the pandemic.

Social media is awash with amateur reviews highlighting what they consider to be poor standards in a retail store. Before you know it, your shop may be trending for all the wrong reasons. Literally anyone can report a bad experience, so don’t give people any cause to do so when they enter your premises.

 

Auditing

Retail premises are under increasing scrutiny from regulatory bodies today. Audits are carried out for various reasons, such as health and safety certification and insurance purposes.

You may also receive an unexpected visit from environmental health officials, especially if you’re serving or storing food, or if there have been reports your premises are having a negative impact on the local area.

Keeping your shop clean is far more important than you may imagine. The solution? Present the best possible face of your shop, 24/7.

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