Professional Retail Store - November/December 2014 - (Page 39)

Survey Says: Nice Floors = Open Doors What your floor maintenance program says to customers - and your bottom line T DAVE MESKO here's a good chance you're scaring off customers the second they set foot in your store. How is that possible, you ask? Your displays look great, shelves stay stocked and employees greet everyone the minute the door opens. But that's not enough. Studies examining shopper attitudes and behaviors repeatedly show the impact of cleanliness on the shopper experience. For example, respondents to a recent industry survey cited cleanliness as the most influential element of the shopping experience - far exceeding the 13 other aspects of store atmosphere examined in the study, including the temperature or lighting used. While you might be thinking that "cleanliness" is a pretty broad term, a 2011 survey by Cintas pinpointed specific cleanliness related issues that would negatively impact a customers' perception in a retail environment. Top issues included dirty restrooms, unpleasant odors and dirty floors. In fact, 86 percent of respondents to the survey said that a retail store with dirty floors would make them negatively perceive a business. This means that dirty floors might be leading your customers out the door. Despite its potential impact on profit, many retailers struggle with janitorial and maintenance responsibilities. Approximately one quarter of respondents (24 percent) to a recent PRSM Benchmarking Report on Janitorial Services reported having no preventative maintenance program in place for cleaning. Only 10 percent of respondents acknowledged performing preventative maintenance activities (6 percent quarterly) and (4 percent semiannually). This shows that the industry largely has a "reactive" approach to janitorial maintenance-meaning that many items only get fixed when an issue arises. While reactive might work for responsibilities that fall outside of your customers' view, this approach will not work if you want to maintain clean and inviting floors. THE ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF CARE The type of floor surface used in the store largely depends on the store brand, size of the store and traffic patterns. For example, smaller corner pharmacies may have hard floor surfaces such as tile or a vinyl composite tile (VCT) throughout their store. Larger big box clothing retailers may use a combination of hard and soft floors (carpet). While each floor surface requires distinctive maintenance strategies, many of the same principles apply. Following these principles can mean the difference between a floor that lasts 10 years or a floor that requires replacement just one year after installation. At that point, the issue becomes less about the customer experience and more about asset prevention. The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) recommends carpet maintenance programs include the following five elements: 1. Soil Containment - It can cost approximately $700/lb. to remove soil once it enters the building. Contain soils by isolating them at entrance points using mats. 2. Vacuuming/Mopping - Focusing on the main points of entry, regularly remove dry soil using a CRI-approved vacuum or microfiber mop. For hard surfaces, this is a critical step as it will help prevent soils from marring the surface. 3. Spot and Spill Removal System - From spots on carpet to soils along grout lines, quick and efficient removal of spots and spills will help protect and maintain floor surfaces. I NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014 I 39

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Professional Retail Store - November/December 2014

President’s Message
Executive Director’s Column
New PRSM Members
Staples Canada’s Recycling Initiatives Supported by FM Team
Future of PRSM Benchmarking
Real Data for Retailers
Bridging the Data Gap
Benchmarking Parking Lot Conditions
Mid-Year Conference Connects the Dots Between Data, Technology and Information
Survey Says: Nice Floors = Open Doors
Efficient Irrigation Systems Save Water and Money
An Investment in IT
Inside PRSM
Member News

Professional Retail Store - November/December 2014