Store associate spring cleaning

Tidying Up: Spring Cleaning Tips for Retail Stores

Leave Your Stores Feeling Fresh Year-Round with These Spring Cleaning Tips

  • By Sarah Murphy

With constantly changing regulations, unpredictable supply chain delays, and the ever-present health threats caused by COVID-19, it’s understandable if retailers are a little behind on the spring cleaning this year. But it’s better late than never, even if the task of an annual deep clean of the store seems daunting.

Don’t worry, though, because Foko Retail is here to help. First of all, your store has probably never been cleaner and more disinfected than it has been in the past year. Second, we’ve compiled a list of handy tips to make your retail store spring cleaning as easy and organized as possible.

Some major retailers have recently come under fire for messy store reopenings, so it’s clear that a little bit of tidying up can go a long way in the eyes of consumers. A clean store makes it easier for customers to shop, and easier for associates to do their jobs well. 

So, without further ado, here are our tips for spring cleaning your retail store.

store associate wearing a face mask holding two bottles of disinfectant🌼 Spring Cleaning Tips for Retail Stores 🧽

 

1. Plan Ahead

Make sure you’ve got a plan of attack before you start. There’s nothing worse than starting to organize a shelf in the middle of the shop, realizing you’re running out of time before the store has to re-open, and then looking around and seeing a bigger mess than what you started with.

So, start by dividing the store into manageable sections—that way, you can complete chunks of the cleaning and organizing during delegated times without affecting business, and you can remain open to the public without shoppers seeing a mid-clean disaster zone.

Make a checklist for what needs to be done in each section. Try to keep it as logically ordered as possible (i.e. mopping the floors last, so that dust from shelves isn’t falling onto freshly cleaned floors).

Next, you’ll have to physically prep the area for cleaning. This might involve removing posters and signage from windows so that the glass can be cleaned, or removing stock from shelves so that the product can be organized and the shelves and store fixtures can be wiped down.

Once you’ve prepared the necessary cleaning supplies (i.e., cleaning solution, buckets, gloves, dusters, cloths, etc.), your team should be ready to start cleaning.

 

2. Clean Everywhere (Seriously, Everywhere)

Spring cleaning isn’t just your daily, weekly, or even monthly cleaning routine. It’s for getting to all those nooks and crannies that collect dust, and organizing those boxes of who-knows-what that you often pass by in the back room and wonder what’s inside but never actually do anything about.

So, it’s not just a surface tidy and it’s not just for what the customers can see. The sales floor should be spic and span, but spring cleaning is also a great time to address the clutter behind the cash desk, the break rooms, the stock rooms, the bathrooms, the perimeter of the building, and even the parking lot. 

Think about it—if someone pulls onto the property and parks their car, but has to wade through litter and pass by overflowing garbage cans before they even enter your store, it’s not giving off a great impression. 

It’s daunting, but as we mentioned before, break it down into more manageable sections. Plus, with areas that aren’t visible to the public, there’s less of a time crunch to get it looking perfect before reopening for business. 

 

3. Implement an Organization System

The best organization system for your store is the one that works the best for your team. As long as everyone knows how the system works and can commit to keeping it in order, you can get as creative as you like.

In addition to keeping stock organized on the sales floor, keep back stock logically organized so everyone can find what they need quickly and easily. 

Deal with old merchandise that’s been lying around unsold for ages. If you can’t get it sold after months of markdowns, cut your losses and either toss it, donate it, or return it to the manufacturer.

A massive spring clean is also a good time to sort out supplies lying around cash desks, offices, and stock rooms. We guarantee you can find some broken hangers, pens that don’t work, or general clutter that you can get rid of. Whatever you decide to keep, keep it organized.

If you still need some organization inspiration, check out non-traditional systems like those of Marie Kondo or the Home Edit—who have somehow managed to make cleaning fun to binge watch on Netflix.

 

4. Include Safety Checks & Maintenance

In your quest for spring cleanliness, you will undoubtedly encounter some general maintenance issues that need to be tackled. Now is the perfect time to tend to chipped paint, change out any burnt out lightbulbs, and untangle the mass of cords at every electrical outlet.

It’s also a good idea to check that all of the store’s safety features are in working order. Test any smoke or carbon monoxide alarms, ensure that automatic doors are working, and make sure that your store is as safely accessible to as many people as possible.

Of course, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, safety regulations should continue being implemented according to local guidelines. This might be a good opportunity to make any store layout changes that would allow for better social distancing or accommodate some extra hand sanitizing stations. 

 

5. Make It Fun

We know cleaning isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time, but do whatever you can to make it fun for your staff members. 

Some of the work will likely need to take place while the store is closed to the public, so offer employees financial incentive like a bonus or overtime pay if they are willing to stay beyond their regular hours.

You can also take advantage of the lack of customers by turning the spring cleaning into a bit of a party. Play some music, order some pizza, and turn certain tasks into friendly competitions with prizes for jobs well done—just remember to clean up the pizza boxes afterwards.

 

Once you’re done implementing our spring cleaning tips for retail stores, check out our tips for store opening and closing checklists and retail compliance audits to keep your stores organized all year round. 

 

About the Author

Sarah Murphy is a content marketing specialist with a background in journalism. She lives in Hamilton, ON, where she is mom to a 13-year-old wiener dog named Penny. When not watching bad reality TV, she’s probably chasing squirrels out of her garden or baking cookies.