Taking care of the physical aspects of a retail store can be a big challenge. With people going in and out all day, it doesn't take long for a location to go from pristine to dingy or worse. If that is allowed to happen, shoppers are put off from buying. The stock itself can be quickly ruined by the grime. This dirtying of the merchandise is such a well-known phenomenon that there is even a name for it: It is said to be "shopworn." Here are a few ways to keep your retail location clean and its merchandise looking great:
Stop Grime Before it Gets In
The first step to keeping a store in top condition is to keep grime outdoors to the fullest extent possible. If possible, use an entry system that involves two sets of doors. This will stop air - and dust - from being able to blast through at full speed. Plenty of dust and other particles will settle out in the vestibule area, which can then be kept clean with frequent sweeping.
Whether or not your store has (or can be fitted with) double sets of doors, the next step is to stop the dirt that has made it inside. Put mats at each door to collect the grime from people's feet. Be sure to have mats at the exit doors, too - there is always someone who will ignore the directional signs.
Keep Air Filtration Working
Every retail location has some sort of powered ventilation system. Make sure the associated filters are clean and in good shape. They'll catch some of the dust that has made it inside. Clean filters also improve the smell of the building.
Dust Everything Nightly
Even with every precaution, enough dust will come into a busy store to settle on the stock. Don't wait until this becomes obvious to the naked eye. Make dusting a standard part of night stock duties so the shelves stay pristine.
Go Over the Bathrooms Frequently
The easiest way to ensure that this job gets done is to put it on a schedule. Then, give specific employees specific hours to cover. For example, if you have three people who could be assigned this work between 12:00 and 2:00, have one of them check at 12, another at 1, and another at 2. This will make it so they can't all say that they thought one of the other two employees would do it.
Remember that bathroom maintenance isn't just a matter of sweeping the floors. Toilet paper rolls, hand cleansers, and paper towels must also be kept in stock. The door handles should be wiped on the way out, too.
Pick Up Outside Trash
If your store has flyers, coupons, or any other such things that people can pick up for free, you can bet that a good amount of the items will end up on the ground in and around the parking lot. Send someone out on a regular basis to pick them up and properly dispose of them. If the store has shopping carts, try to get employees to check them, too.
Keep Trash Cans Emptied
One of the simplest, yet most off-putting, sources of unsightliness in retail locations is an overflowing trash can. Fortunately, all it takes to keep your cans looking great is regular emptying. How often it needs to be done depends on how busy the store is, but you can generally expect to have to do it at least a few times per day.
These tips are tailored for those who need to keep fairly large stores looking good, but they can easily be scaled for smaller shops and boutiques. All face the challenges that are presented by people frequently going in and out, and all need to look great to maximize sales.