Retail stores face unique challenges when it comes to cleanliness and sanitation. The high foot traffic, coupled with multiple touch surfaces, could potentially expose both employees and customers to many different threats.
Germs and bacteria were scary enough, but the coronavirus pandemic has further elevated the need for proper sanitation standards. When retailers prioritize cleanliness and safety, they can reduce the likelihood of infections, business closure, and a damaged reputation. Here are four ways of keeping your retail place clean and safe.
1. Set aside specific hours for deep cleaning
Many retail stores are deemed as essential businesses that provide critical goods and services to customers. This often results in extended operating hours, sometimes even 24/7. An effective approach to proper sanitation is setting aside specific hours for deep cleaning your premises. You may need to access shelves, entrances, floors, and bathrooms, which will require reduced foot traffic when cleaning.
Consider closing the store temporarily to carry out the cleaning process, or restrict access to specific aisles and areas of the retail store for sanitization. Hiring a professional commercial cleaning service is also critical during these particular times. Professionals know where the hotspots that harbor germs and bacteria are, and they can clean your business with a quick turnaround time.
2. Install sanitation stations for employees and customers
Controlling dirt/germs at the source is also an excellent way of keeping your retail store clean. Encourage employees and customers to sanitize often by installing sanitation or handwashing stations. These stations should be strategically located near the entrance to the store, bathroom, or aisles. In this way, customers are more likely to touch products or surfaces with clean hands, thus limiting the spread of germs and viral particles. Controlling bacteria/viruses in advance will also make the in-depth cleaning process much easier and less costly to carry out.
3. Encourage self-checkout
As a measure for controlling the spread of COVID-19, you should consider encouraging customers to use self-checkout stations. These stations can be supervised by fewer employees, and they also make social distancing easier to enforce. Coupled with sanitizing stations, high-contact surfaces can be regularly cleaned in between use by different customers.
4. Reduce the presence of high-contact surfaces
Another useful strategy is to minimize the presence of high-contact surfaces such as railings, furniture, and empty shelf space. Any surface that could be potentially touched by many different people presents a risk, and reducing these contact areas could prevent infections from occurring in your business. For contact surfaces that can't be removed, consider assigning an employee or a cleaning service to regularly sanitize such spaces.