Customers are the lifeblood of any business; without them, our business cannot succeed. This is true of any business, from law firms to commercial chemical companies, but it seems truest of all in retail. Retailers don’t have long-term contracts to rely on; when we’re in retail, each customer who walks through our door is a new opportunity, and each negative experience is a potential lost client. This is why cleanliness is key in a retail market; poor cleanliness hurts the customer experience, which can lead to lost sales, lost clients, and potential loss in market share.
We might sell clothes, furniture, or any number of things as retailers; but no matter what we sell, our clients are looking for a good shopping experience. A well laid out store, with thought given to where the customer comes in, where they check out, and the order in which they’d like to buy items is key to a great experience. Cleanliness is essential to good maintenance, because when clients see clutter, dirt, scuff marks, or any other kind of unsightliness, their eyes are drawn towards the mess instead of the product. This means they may well miss out on something they’d have loved to purchase, which means we lose out on a sale.
Clients are also quick to decide not to walk into a place that’s unclean. Imagine walking past a shop that has nice looking items, but a terrible smell! No matter how much we’d normally want to shop there, we avoid places that are clearly unclean. This is because bad smells and sights can mean that we’re unsafe; that’s why our senses tell us to avoid those areas. Bad smells can happen to any retailer, even Apple has had negative feedback from smelly stores. They tried to handle it with in-store staff, using air fresheners to see where it smelled the worst, but it got worse. They should have hired a professional cleaning service!
Clients who sense something messy in a retail space are likely to have a bad shopping experience. The smells, the sights; when things are messy, they are unpleasant. In the retail world, we know that customers love to talk, and we don’t want our customers telling their friends about what an unclean shop we have. Their friends will tell their friends, and suddenly we see a drop in how many people even set foot in the shop, whether we’ve cleaned it since or not! This is why we can’t risk ever presenting an unclean shop; it leaves a lasting disfavourable impression that can reach far beyond the clients who set foot in the door that day.
Having a clean shop is necessary to have a successful retail business. Clean shops increase sales for clients in the store, they increase the likeliness that clients will set foot in the store, and they make the customer experience better, meaning more and repeat clients. The importance of cleanliness can’t be understated, and we must make sure our shops stay beautiful to make sure our business stays beautiful.