Retail

Good retail hygiene recommendations

Unhygienic and poorly maintained washrooms have been found to negatively affect judgement, reduce evaluations, purchase likelihood and the willingness to pay for products.

66% of shoppers would reduce their shopping time to avoid unacceptable hygiene.

In the retail industry where achieving return business is key to profitability, the potential impact of poor hygiene could be damaging to your business and could:

  • Drive traffic online or to your competitors 
  • Reduce the length of stay and consequently overall spend 
  • At busy periods, drive people away as facilities cannot cope 
  • Alienate some visitors by not providing the right facilities, resulting in customers not returning due to their bad experience

Entrances / escalators / cash desks:

The entrance to any retail store, regardless of location, is the customer's first glimpse into your business. Make it a warm welcome into an environment which reflects well on your brand.

Contaminated hands can transfer germs to seven separate surfaces, and germs can live on a surface for up to 48 hours.

Ensure high-traffic areas such entrances and high-touch surfaces such as counters, till points and hand-rails are free of dirt, sticky handprints and streaks.

  • 80% of the dirt in buildings comes in off the street on your customers’ shoes. Entrance mats enhance your brand image and help demonstrate an added level of consideration and care to your visitors 
  • Poor air odour gives a perception of an unclean environment. Install air fresheners or air purifiers to counteract bad smells and create a great first impression 
  • 80% of infectious diseases are transmitted by touch. Ensure hand and surface sanitisers are available to kill germs and help prevent the spread of infection

Washrooms:

Washrooms are integral to a pleasant shopping experience and have a huge impact on shopper dwell time and spend.

An average 75% of people surveyed say the washroom facilities in retail environments are extremely/very important.

Effective cleaning programs should not simply focus on removing visible soils, but attention should be paid to risk areas such as feminine hygiene facilities, handles and areas around the sink.

  • More than 20% of people would leave a store earlier than planned if they know the washroom facilities are below standard. Ensure they are clean and adequate provisions are available for washing and drying of hands and sanitary waste disposal 
  • No-touch fixtures help reduce the transmission of germs, which is critical in meeting consumers' personal hygiene expectations 
  • Smell is the first thing that people notice when entering a washroom. Provide a fresh smelling or fragrant washroom to ensure visitors remain happy during their stay

Food courts / kitchens / food preparation areas:

Studies have found bacteria levels 1,000 times the acceptable standard in some food courts.

Open kitchens in food courts are highly visible to your visitors and reflect how much your management team cares about your customers. Food hygiene and safety are critical to complement the overall shopping experience.

  • Wipe high chairs thoroughly and after each use to reduce the risk of surface to hand contamination 
  • Ensure sink areas are clean and have the right hand wash, drying and sanitising facilities 
  • Educate staff on appropriate hand wash and glove usage procedures 
  • Kitchen surfaces should be regularly cleaned. To further minimise cross contamination provide a hand sanitiser

Baby changing / disability facilities:

Studies have found that some baby changing rooms have bacteria levels of 165 times the safe limit.

Babies, young children and the disabled are the most vulnerable to infectious diseases in the retail environment. Young children in particular, due to their immature immune systems, are at risk of contracting and transmitting infections through close contact with other children and via exposure to shared facilities.

  • Hand and surface sanitisers will kill germs and help prevent the spread of infection 
  • Ensure sink areas are clean and have the right hand wash, drying and sanitising facilities 
  • Waste and nappy bins should be provided and emptied regularly to help reduce bad smells 
  • Poor air odour in these facilities give a perception of unclean environment, fragrance solutions can help counteract the malodours

Children's play areas:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 80% of all infections are transmitted by hands. 

Hands are a natural breeding ground for germs. Little hands are always touching objects such as toys and toilet seats, which means they can easily pick up and spread germs. Parents will be more confident when visiting malls and stores with hygienic play areas for children.

  • Play equipment and toys should be regularly wiped down and sanitised to ensure germs are not spread 
  • Door handles and common surfaces are often overlooked when cleaning. Ensure a good cleaning program and provide access to hand sanitisers to minimise the risk of cross-contamination