Make Sure You "RECOVER" Your Stores

Creating an inviting shopping environment is one of the most powerful things that a retailer can do. Large retail firms spend untold millions on the look and feel of their shopping environment, knowing that they must impress their shoppers in order to keep them coming back. The average store, in fact is re-modeled about once every 7 years on average – and that does not take into effect the additional ongoing maintenance and sprucing up that is done on a regular basis.

When a customer enters your store one of the first things they notice is the cleanliness and neatness of your facility. While a belief exists that many shoppers enjoy a messy environment that creates the need for them to “dig and hunt for great buys”, the truth is that few retailers rely on that operating strategy to drive sales. I do not recommend it. In order to keep shoppers coming back you first need to provide them with a neat and clean environment to shop in and then impress them with your merchandise content, in-stock condition, and sharp pricing.

While we depend on our customers to keep us in business, they can be messy, sometimes very messy in their shopping habits. In order to deal with that fact, every retailer needs to have some plan for how they will neaten up their store(s) after a busy shopping day and get ready to impress their customers once again. This process is typically referred to as “Recovery”.

We recommend that every retailer have a specific plan in place for how to neaten his or her stores on a regular basis (daily) and a method to calculate how much employee time it will take to make that happen. Observing your employees (store associates) performing the recovery task and getting an average time per aisle will help you to estimate how much time per day you should allocate to get the recovery task done. We suggest telling your associates how much time they have allotted to them to recover a given area and let them try to beat your goal.

Whatever means you employ, the most important thing you can do is make sure that "recovery" happens. Customers who think you have a dirty store will stop shopping with you and will quickly find another retailer to visit.

For more information on this topic contact Pat Fitzpatrick at Atlanta Retail Consulting Inc