Retail Report: Clean Stores Boost Back-to-School Sales
Good news retailers; the National Retail Federation estimates that parents will spend a total of $75.8 Billion this back-to-school and college season. The organization notes, however, that 46% of those parents plan to shop online, a jump from 36% last year. Grabbing your share of dwindling brick-and-mortar shoppers keeps getting harder. How can you set your location apart and claim your share of dollars? Start by creating an inviting, spotless retail environment to boost back-to-school sales.
While shoppers are increasingly moving to on-line sales, studies show that between 40-70% of consumers make their purchase decisions when they are actually in your retail location, according to Shopkeep.com. A clean, orderly appearance will attract consumers, telegraph quality and help generate sales.
That clean should start before shoppers even get out of their cars. Make sure that parking lots are brightly lit and free of trash. Providing a trash receptacle will cut down on littering. Make sure the receptacle is clean and empty before opening.
Glass doors and store-front windows need to sparkle. Shopkeep recommends washing them bi-weekly, but spot clean as needed to remove greasy fingerprints. An exterior walk-off mat will trap dirt and grime before shoppers enter your store, helping keep your interior clean.
Brighter Lights, Varied Floors
Replacing old lightbulbs is one of the fastest way to freshen up your display areas. Shopkeep notes that consumers respond well to the crisp white light emitted by new bulbs versus the dimmer, yellow-brown color of older bulbs. While new lights will give your interior a boost it will also show any hidden dirt lurking in corners. Make sure that your cleaning regime tackles overlooked spots, display hardware and even the parts that no one sees, like stock rooms and the office.
Mixing up floor coverings is a great way to pull customers through your store. Shoppers will gravitate towards the islands created by different flooring. Creating this effect can be as easy as adding a small area rug or as complicated as laying new floors. Either way, note the cleaning needs of different flooring materials and follow manufacturer’s recommendations.
Rest Rooms are the Best Rooms
Don’t underestimate the importance of spotless restrooms to boost back-to-school sales. Squeaky clean rest rooms say that you value your staff and your customers. Anything less might put off a potential buyer who will judge your business by their level of cleanliness. Start each day with spotless restrooms and be sure to check them every hour. Pick up any trash and spot clean touchpoints. Avoid slip and fall incidents by keeping floors dry.
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Amy Milshtein covers design, facility management and business topics for a variety of trade publications and consumer magazines.
Her work has won several awards, most recently a regional silver Azbee Award of Excellence.
She lives in Portland, OR with her family and Clyde, a 15-lb tabby cat. Once an avid hiker, these days she finds herself on the less-challenging -but-still-exciting 'creaky knees' trails.