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Retail Guide: keeping your shop clean

When was the last time you took a really close look at the inside of your shop and workroom? Are there dusty corners, grubby windows and peeling floor tiles that you’ve simply not got round to sorting out?

It’s easy to overlook such things when you’re busy, but a clean and safe workplace is crucial for both staff morale and customer satisfaction. It can help prevent injuries and improve productivity as well as making a good first impression on customers. Every member of staff has a part to play in keeping your shop and work areas clean, particularly when it comes to maintaining a safe space. Cleanliness is a significant factor when consumers are choosing where to shop and has a direct impact on sales and customer satisfaction.

Good first impressions lead to sales. If someone walks into your shop and it’s not clean or well maintained, you’ll be making a bad impression. A clean, well maintained shop will encourage customers to visit you more regularly, helping to build loyalty. As most businesses now have some sort of online and social media presence, customers can and will leave reviews about their shopping experience. If they say your shop is a mess, you’ll put people off instantly.

You have an obligation to meet retail industry standards. Unclean can also mean unsafe, especially in a florists’ where floors can be wet and debris makes things slippery. If your shop doesn’t meet Health & Safety regulations, it could be reported or even shut down or you could be fined, all bad news for your shop’s reputation.

How to keep on top of cleaning and maintenance

1. Repair any damage

Damage doesn’t look great; it makes customers think you’re not bothered about how your shop looks or you’re too lazy to get things fixed. Rotten window frames, damaged flooring and broken display units just won’t cut it these days. Repair what you can yourself or bite the bullet and pay a professional to do the job.

2. Clean ceilings and light fittings

Look up and you might be horrified at what you see. Cobwebs on the ceiling and light fittings full of dust and dead flies need to be sorted. Keep an eye out for any dead lightbulbs too. Murky lighting won’t help your product displays but will certainly put customers off.

3. Clean displays regularly

Attractive displays are what draw customers into your shop and hopefully influence them to spend. Keep an eye on your display units and clean as you rotate stock regularly. Schedule a deep clean every few weeks, dismantle the shelves and get into the hard-to-reach areas. Use the right cleaning products for your display units, whether they’re glass, wood or laminate. Tell your staff about the importance of keeping displays tidy and picking anything up that should not be on the shop floor.

4. Declutter

A cluttered shop can give the impression that its dirty, but clutter is also dangerous. If you leave items all over the shop floor and someone trips and hurts themselves, you could be liable. Ensure that all staff are aware of health and safety standards and try to restock flower buckets and display units out of opening hours. A cluttered workroom can also lead to injuries as staff have less space to work. Encourage staff to keep their areas tidy by returning tools and other materials to storage after using them and dispose of materials that are no longer needed. Keep corridors, stairways and emergency exits clear.

5. Treat spillages and breakages straight away

Leaving spillages untreated can cause surface stains and smells to quickly develop, while breakages can create dangerous hazards. Deal with these as soon as they occur, not when you might find time later.

6. Empty the bins

There’s nothing worse than bins spilling over onto the shop floor or behind the till. Packaging and other forms of rubbish can leave your shop looking untidy so clear it away promptly.

7. Clean windows and mirrors

Grubby windows and dusty mirrors will make your shop look gloomy and uncared for. Clean the outside of your windows every week and take time to do the insides whenever you update your window displays. Use proper glass cleaner and lint-free cloths to keep things crystal clear.

8. Pay attention to your shop entrance

First impressions count so don’t put customers off from entering your shop with peeling paintwork, tatty doormats and a cluttered entrance. Make sure your doorway is bright, clean and welcoming. Use floor mats at your shop entrance, to minimise walk-through dirt (80% of dirt is brought into buildings on the soles of people’s shoes) and lay hard-wearing flooring to keep the entrance looking good.

9. Don’t forget staff areas – workrooms and toilets

Too many back rooms and staff areas are dirty and dilapidated. If you don’t care enough to keep them clean and smart, why should your staff? Create a comfortable and welcoming workspace to show that you value your staff and set the cleaning standards you expect them all to adhere to.


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