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Retail Cleaning—How to Get Ready for Holiday Shopping Season

September 21, 2022 10:48 AM by Tennant Company

Posted in Best Practices Cleaning Challenges

As fall begins, many retail stores are already displaying holiday merchandise. What about Halloween? Or Thanksgiving, you might wonder? These are fair questions, but they are no match for the so-called “seasonal creep” that has boomed in recent years. In the past, retail operations transformed into holiday wonderlands come November 1st, while trick-or-treaters were still making their way through piles of candy. But with many shoppers now eyeing their holiday gift lists early as fall approaches, some retail stores choose to create the kind of ambiance that embodies the holiday spirit now.

Whether a retail store is decorating early or holding off for more traditional timing, it’s essential to have a plan for retail cleaning. Heavy traffic in the store entryways, aisles, checkout areas, and restrooms can quickly turn shining, clean floors into dirty, grimy surfaces that diminish the overall store appearance and the customer experience. Depending on the store’s regional location, weather can be a factor that leaves retail staff frequently bringing out the floor cleaning equipment.

Cleaning in a retail environment

Snow is Foe for Retail Cleaning

Shopping in winter with a fresh coat of snow evokes warm feelings that many in the colder Midwest and Upper East Coast states equate with the holiday season. But snow is also known to arrive in the early days of fall—with September recording the earliest snowfall on record in the Midwest. So, prepare now to maintain store cleanliness whenever Mother Nature strikes a blustery blow.

Snow gets dirty from sand, and rock salt used to make it less slippery. Inevitably, that snow gets tracked in as shoppers enter stores. If it’s not attended to in the entryway, that dirty and slippery snow will make its way to other parts of the store and become a potential eyesore and safety risk. It will also require more frequent cleaning.

An entryway mat is an essential way to help prevent dirty snow from diminishing store appearance or creating a slip and fall risk of a wet floor. Having a mat on the floor right as shoppers enter the store greatly reduces the dirt that gets tracks throughout the store. The mat will help collect dirt and protect the appearance of your store. However, even with a mat, your entryways will need frequent cleaning during the holidays, so keep a compact floor scrubber like an i-mop XL Plus or CS16 tucked away behind the counter for quick clean-ups.

Also, attend to the spaces outside the store. Snow-covered curbs, slushy sidewalks and unplowed parking spaces create a mess that will likely make its way into your store via shoppers’ shoes. To mitigate this:

  • Post a sign outside the doorway reminding customers to wipe their shoes on the entry mat.
  • Keep a steady supply of an anti-slip substance such as sand on hand to put down outside the store entrance.
  • As for the parking area, make sure snow piles aren’t blocking walkways and parking spaces.
CS16 Tennant Scrubber

Warm Weather Menaces for Retail Cleaning

The fall season attracts many people to states in warmer climates looking for a respite before the winter chill sets in. States in the West and South are a haven for tourists and year-round natives alike this time of year. But the warmer Western climate is also known for being very dusty, and the Southern climate is ripe for severe weather as the changing atmospheres collide.

Like colder climates, an entryway matt at your retail store is a must-have. Encourage shoppers with signage to wipe their feet as they enter your store. Also, pay attention to outdoor cleaning of sidewalks and parking lots.

In the dry Western states, dust, litter, and other debris should be regularly removed from areas outside the store to help prevent it from coming inside. This also enhances shoppers’ perception of store cleanliness before they walk through your doors. In addition, removing outdoor debris helps keep inside spaces clean longer—allowing cleaning staff to spend less time focusing on floors.

In the South, fall represents a time of cooling off from high summer temperatures and stifling humidity. But that atmospheric change can usher in strong storms that bring debris, rainwater and mud onto your store’s floor. Debris should be regularly removed with a walk-behind or ride-on scrubber from outside the store—sidewalks and parking lots—and floors with rainwater and mud streaks should be routinely cleaned to maintain a clean, safe, and welcoming store appearance.

Easy Learning Curve Working with Robots

Data driven decisions

Sure, customers come into a store because they’re looking for the products you sell. But store appearance and store cleanliness also matter. Keeping high-traffic areas clean and inviting creates a positive customer experience for your customers that can drive repeat business. Staying on top of retail cleaning can also improve employee morale and provide the overall impression that you’re protecting their health and safety. Health and safety are further boosted by using cleaning equipment such as scrubbers and sweepers that thoroughly removes dirt and soil, maintains better air quality, and leaves floors safe, dry and ready for traffic.

Having a cleaning routine that keeps floors looking enticing doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Whether you have an in-house cleaning crew, outsource cleaning or take a hybrid approach, keeping floors clean and shining pays off in the long run as it shows customers that their impression of your store matters—making them likely to return.

For more information on maintaining store appearance and store cleanliness during the holiday shopping season and beyond, download our retail eBook for a free guide to shine.

To learn how a national grocery store worked with Tennant to roll out a more effective cleaning program to hundreds of locations while reducing costs, read this case study.


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