If you’re a retail business owner or work in one, then you’re well-acquainted with the so-called retail rush. During these hours—which are usually during the middle of the day from noon to 2 P.M. and around 5 P.M. onwards—you have to deal with two things: more customers and more cleaning.
The latter can be tricky to accomplish because of the former. Obviously, you have to attend to your customers’ needs. However, you also have to keep up with the cleaning to provide a pleasant shopping experience.
So, how do you deal with both at once? Here are some cleaning tips for the retail rush:
Hire Professional Cleaners
The best and simplest solution for all your cleaning needs at all hours is, of course, to hire professional cleaners. Aside from having the right tools, they also have the experience of dealing with unique situations. In particular, they can adeptly manoeuvre around people to be as unobtrusive as possible as they do their jobs.
That being said, make sure to let all staff members know what kinds of tasks you want them to do during the retail rush. For example, it’s best to leave product handling to your own staff and then let the cleaners take over general maintenance.
Put More People on the Floor During Busy Hours
Sometimes, the reason why your shop gets a little too messy during the retail rush is that you don’t have enough people to cover all the bases. As such, it may be a good idea to review your staffing schedule and see where you can make changes.
If possible, try to have overlaps when you know you have a lot more customers coming and going. This allows your employees to do their jobs without feeling overwhelmed. It may also be a good idea to hire additional people during the busier months (e.g., during the Christmas holidays).
Rotate Your Welcome Mats
With high foot traffic comes more dirt, dust, and even mud on your store’s floors. Unfortunately, you have no control over where your customers come from before visiting your establishment. Fortunately, you can minimise the amount of road debris they track onto your floors by rotating your welcome mats more often.
As soon as you notice that the mat is dirty, pull it out and replace it with a fresh one. If you want, you can also have two different mats: one on the outside of the store for a preliminary wipe before entering the premises, and another on the inside to further shake out debris.
Clean More During Quiet Periods
In general, a retail rush is good for business because more people means more exposure and more sales. That being said, a retail rush usually doesn’t last all day. After a couple of hours, the crowd will thin and be back to its usual volume.
It’s during these times that you should double up on the cleaning. In particular, make sure to vacuum the floors and give them a good polish. The same goes for your store-front windows, especially if you have displays. Use the lull to straighten up the store as much as you can, so that it’s extra neat when you start receiving more customers again.
Focus on Certain Areas
Despite your best efforts, it can really be challenging to keep your store as clean as you want it. After all, your staff can’t very well attend to a customer while also tidying up the display shelves.
To help deal with this situation, don’t obsess about keeping the entire store immaculate. Rather, focus only on certain areas and assign members of the staff to keep an eye on them. Some of the things you should prioritise include the floors, tables and countertops, windows, and bathrooms.
Alert Customers That You’re Cleaning
Sometimes, cleaning around customers truly can’t be helped. You never know what’s going to happen within your premises, after all; you also don’t have any control over any of your customers’ actions. In other words, you need to accept the fact that you’ll have to perform some more “serious” cleaning during peak hours.
Luckily, most customers wouldn’t mind your staff tidying things up because they know it’s for their own welfare anyway. That being said, do the right thing and be polite. Let them know you’re doing some cleaning by putting up some signs. You should also set up a temporary path so you don’t disrupt the flow of traffic within the establishment.
It may also help to invest in cleaning equipment that can help speed things up, such as powerful vacuum cleaners or extra-absorbent mops that can sop up spills in no time.
For many retail businesses, the retail rush is a good thing. However, you also have to deal with some of its not-so-pleasant consequences—like the extra clean-ups that you’re guaranteed to have to do. Thankfully, with these tips, you can make cleaning during the busiest hours of your store so much easier.