Keeping your store tidy at Christmas

shutterstock_152142887Nigel Crunden, business specialist at Office Depot gives his advice on how to keep a tidy store in the Christmas period.

Over the busy festive and January sales period, retailers will be experiencing a significant increase in footfall but must ensure they are ready to meet demand from all corners, including keeping the store presentable.

The main issue for retailers is weighing up the level of cleaning that is required during trading hours against cleaning that takes place when the shutters come down. Deciding which is right for your business is an important factor worth careful consideration.

To keep up with demand, most stores adopt a ‘clean as you go’ approach where staff are expected to clean shop surfaces and floors as part of their day-to-day job.

The advantages of retailers employing this approach is that stores will appear tidier during the busier hours as staff are trained to react to any spillages or dirt.

Cleaning out of hours or ‘night-time cleaning’ allows for more thoroughness as customers are no longer a barrier to carrying out tasks.

The answer for most retailers is to have a combination of both daytime and night-time cleaning to ensure that after the working day, the store gets a thorough clean, however during opening hours cleaning isn’t neglected altogether. 

Frequently reviewing cleaning procedures helps retail businesses to find a balance between staff cleaning while the store is open and cleaners coming in after hours.

The priority for staff that clean on the job is customer awareness. Staff have to perform a fine balancing act between providing as many customers as possible with a positive and efficient service during peak times maximizing the opportunity they present, whilst simultaneously keeping the space clean and tidy to avoid customer disappointment and encourage repeat business.

Retail stores are commonly diverse spaces and each different area of a store has distinct cleaning requirements. As there is often high footfall during the festive season, choosing the most efficient materials and products for the job is essential.

The use of multi-purpose cleaning products is the most cost-effective and efficient choice for retailers. Shop workers feel less overwhelmed about cleaning duties, as multi-purpose products are versatile enough to apply to different surfaces.

When introducing new staff members to the shop floor, an important part of the training programme is to make sure they know which cleaning products to use and where.

Deciding on the level of cleaning required out of trading hours begins with self-auditing, where area managers carry out performance checks by entering a store in the shoes of a customer.

The solution for most retailers is to maintain a balance of both daytime and night-time cleaning so that after the working day, the store is cleaned from top to bottom and during the day cleaning isn’t neglected.