Easter is rapidly approaching, and as we gear up for the inevitable surge in retail activity, Red Alert is here to offer some invaluable cleaning advice to ensure that your customers enjoy a pleasant shopping experience.

If you’re a retail business owner or part of the retail workforce, you’re no doubt familiar with the so-called retail rush. This typically occurs in the middle of the day, from noon to 2 P.M., and then picks up again around 5 P.M. onwards. During these peaks, you face a dual challenge: an influx of customers and an increased need for cleaning.

Balancing customer service with maintaining cleanliness can be a tough act. Obviously, customer needs take priority, but maintaining a clean and inviting shopping environment is also crucial for a positive customer experience.

So, how can you manage both simultaneously? Here are some cleaning strategies for navigating the retail rush:

Employ Professional Cleaners

Engaging professional cleaning services is the most straightforward strategy to address your cleaning needs at all times. Professional cleaners come equipped with the necessary tools and have the expertise to handle unique situations efficiently. They are skilled at working discreetly around customers, ensuring minimal disruption while performing their duties.

Ensure that all staff members are clear on their roles during busy periods. It’s advisable to allocate product-related tasks to your staff, leaving the cleaners to focus on general upkeep.

Increase Staff Levels During Peak Times

A common reason for disarray during busy times is insufficient staffing. Review your staffing schedule to identify opportunities for adjustment.

Consider scheduling overlapping shifts during peak periods. This not only prevents staff from feeling overwhelmed but can also improve the overall tidiness and functionality of your store. Hiring extra staff during peak seasons, such as Easter, might also be beneficial.

Rotate Entrance Mats Regularly

High foot traffic increases the amount of dirt and debris tracked into your store. While you can’t control where your customers have been, you can minimise the dirt they bring in by regularly changing your entrance mats.

Replace dirty mats promptly with clean ones. Having two mats—one outside for initial cleaning and another inside for additional dirt removal—can significantly reduce the amount of debris brought into your store.

Intensify Cleaning During Quieter Times

While the retail rush is advantageous for business, it doesn’t last all day. Utilise quieter periods for thorough cleaning, such as vacuuming and polishing floors and cleaning front windows, especially if you have displays. This is also an ideal time to organise your store to ensure it looks its best for the next wave of customers.

Prioritise Key Areas for Cleaning

Maintaining a spotless store throughout may be unrealistic, especially during peak times. Instead, focus on certain areas—floors, tables, countertops, windows, and restrooms—and assign staff to monitor and maintain these key spots.

Inform Customers of Ongoing Cleaning

Occasionally, cleaning in the presence of customers is unavoidable. Most customers understand that this is for their benefit and will appreciate your efforts to maintain a clean environment. Politely notify customers of cleaning activities by displaying signs and directing them along alternative paths to avoid disrupting store traffic.

Investing in efficient cleaning tools, such as powerful vacuum cleaners and highly absorbent mops, can also expedite the cleaning process during busy periods.

For many retail outlets, the retail rush is a positive development, yet it comes with its challenges, including the need for additional cleaning. With these tips from Red Alert, managing cleanliness during your store’s busiest hours can become significantly more manageable.