Why is the Cleanliness of Stores So Important to Shoppers?
When a shopper visits a store and sees dirt on surfaces, sticky floors, and corners covered with dust, it makes them want to leave the store as earliest as possible and they go out with the impression that the store management has improperly managed the cleaning services. As per various studies conducted around the world, nothing turns off customers as much as dirt and the unhygienic environment in the stores do.
A clean and hygienic environment is the common factor among all top-rated supermarkets and stores around the world. For example, the top 6 preferred stores in the United States of America (USA), as per a study by Consumer Reports (in no particular order) are as follows:
- Central Market;
- Market Basket;
- Gelson’s Markets; and
- Trader Joe’s.
The above-mentioned stores were also rated among the cleanest supermarkets and grocery stores in the USA.
Clean and Hygienic Environment in Stores More than Illusion of it
When a supermarket or any type of store can convince its clients/customers that it’s genuinely clean and hygienic to visit and shop then that’s a real victory for the store as well as its cleaning staff. Many customers have skepticism regarding the cleanliness in stores they visit especially about the areas where the customers are not permitted/allowed to go. The reason behind more and more people being skeptical about the cleaning situation in supermarkets and grocery stores is because people nowadays have access to TV shows that reveal and discuss dark and dirty secrets of retail stores, restaurants, and supermarkets across the world.
However, certain qualities and elements can convince a customer that a supermarket or a store is truly hygienic and clean. The qualities in a store that indicate that it is clean to visit and do shopping from the point of view of a customer are mentioned as follows:
- Clean and Neat Sidewalks: Before customers enter a supermarket or a store, they want to see clean steps and sidewalks.
- A Fresh and Clean Entryway: The entrance of a store should be neat, tidy, and clean, from the windows to the floor mats. Customers are irked especially by debris such as cigarette butts, bubble gums, and other mysterious stains, which could indicate towards lack of regular cleaning.
- Sanitizer and Trash Cans: Customers want to witness clear signs of a business caring about cleanliness, like hand sanitizers, recycling, hand wipes, and trash cans. This is especially true of supermarkets or stores that offer baskets and shopping carts, which have the potential of holding germs and bacteria.
- Sparkling Floors: When a floor is sparkling and gleaming then it gives customers an immediate impression that a store is neat and clean. In a similar way, a dirty and scuffed floor makes them think that what else is dirty and unpleasant within the store.
- Clean Washrooms: The washrooms should be clean, fresh-smelling, and fully stocked with toilet papers and paper towels. As per a study, 86 percent of the customers that visit a restaurant equate a dirty and unpleasant restroom with a dirty kitchen while 75 percent would never come back to a place that does not have clean bathrooms.
- No spills: Consumers judge a business very harshly if they are not able to address the problem of spills quickly (ideally within a few minutes). For this very reason, supermarkets or retail stores should have staff members or should outsource a cleaning firm to constantly monitor all their floors for spills and stains.
Store Cleanliness and Liability Laws
Maintaining a clean and hygienic environment is not only necessary for keeping your consumers happy and satisfied but it’s also important for keeping them safe from injuries. If a customer gets injured while shopping in a store and they can provide evidence in the court of law that they got injured because the store owner was negligent in providing them with a safe environment within their store then they could win a hefty judgment against the store.
All businesses must ensure that their property remains free of any hazards that could present a serious risk to public health and safety. Slip-and-fall incidents are the leading cause of customers demanding compensation from retail stores all around the world.
The main reason behind slip-and-fall incidents is dirty and worn flooring. This includes broken vinyl and laminate materials, uneven wood planks, cracked concrete, tattered carpeting, and all types of floors having loose debris as well as rough patches.
Liquid spills, litter, and a pile of unsorted items also contribute to a lot of store injuries. One of the things an owner of a store can do for the safety of its consumers from the above-mentioned injuries is by investing in cleaning and janitorial services that not only provide customers with a clean and pleasant environment to enjoy but also make them feel safe while shopping in the store.
Keeping and Maintaining a Clean Reputation
In today’s modern age, an unpleasant and dirty environment can become a huge problem for a supermarket or a store. As almost everyone in the world has a mobile phone in their pocket at all times, so anyone can capture a photo of a filthy washroom or floor and share it with thousands of people on public platforms such as Google Reviews, Instagram, Yelp, and more.
As per the research conducted by Power Facilities Management, there are five main factors related to cleanliness that cause people from returning to a store are:
- Bad odor – 78 percent
- Dirty and untidy washrooms – 66 percent
- Surfaces covered in dirt and dust – 65 percent
- Lack of cleaning on store entrances – 60 percent
- Dirty and broken dressing rooms – 56 percent
To keep the environment in a supermarket or store clean and tidy enough to attract and impress customers, ward off potential lawsuits, and avoid bad PR, supermarket or store owners should take the below mentioned preventive measures.
- Make cleaning schedules on a daily basis: Cleaning on a weekly basis isn’t enough. Cleaning staff should check the entrance, restrooms, and walkways on an hourly basis. The store should get cleaned on daily a basis.
- Make schedules for deep cleaning: In addition to daily cleaning and maintenance, the whole store should get deep-cleaned either on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis depending on the size and scale of the store as well as the availability of the cleaning team. This includes cleaning of floors and carpets, high ceiling areas, displays, windows, and everything else in employee-only as well as public spaces.
- Check air and surface quality: Check the quality of air and surfaces in your store by conducting mold tests. Ensure that the HVAC system as well as the ductwork gets cleaned on a consistent basis. Make sure that surfaces that are often touched by customers are cleaned thoroughly and that too on a daily basis.
- Arrange power washing: Specific areas within a store requires power washing on a frequent basis so that to keep them fresh and clean. These areas include entryways, sidewalks, parking lots, railings, and building exterior siding. Make arrangements with a quality cleaning firm to power wash these areas on a regular basis.
- Make a schedule for deep cleaning the parking lot: Schedule thorough cleaning of the parking lot at least once or twice a year in order to remove oil stains, tire marks, embedded debris, and all the other types of dirt, dust, and stains that are caused by customers’ vehicles.
- Remove graffiti immediately: Customers of supermarkets or stores dislike seeing graffiti, so make an arrangement with a top-rated cleaning company that provides quality cleaning services to address your graffiti problems as soon as it arises.
Contact Power Facilities Management today to get a free quote and consultancy on janitorial services, general cleaning services, carpet cleaning services, and much more for any supermarket, retail store, or any commercial or residential building.