Retail Destination: why innovation should not come at the detriment of hygiene and shopper safety

Retail Destination: why innovation should not come at the detriment of hygiene and shopper safety

  • March 14, 2022
  • in Blog
  • 138

When attempting to draw consumers out of the shadows, extraordinary experiences hold the key to revitalising in-store footfall and driving customer loyalty. As retail destinations become more diverse and immersive, though, so too must the cleaning strategies designed to maintain them. Katie Westerman, Group Sales & Marketing Director of SBFM explains.

The growing trend towards transforming underused retail units and shopping centres into exciting destinations is certainly bearing fruit for today’s brands. While the final week of last year ended with footfall in UK retail destinations 24.5% below 2019 levels[1], the 78% rise on 2020[2] suggests consumer confidence is beginning to return.

Despite this, retailers continue to be confronted with the well documented cautiousness of shoppers, particularly as they return with a heightened anxiety towards cleanliness and hygiene. Indeed, 95% of shoppers say that the exterior appearance of a retail premises influences where they decide to shop, and cleaning plays a role in that, too[3].

With England’s Plan B measures – which include guidance to work from home and mandatory mask wearing in shops – now lifted, how can retailers assure consumers of a safe return to their destinations?

With retail spaces increasingly capturing visitor interest with unique and memorable moments – using everything from cinemas to sporting facilities, connected technologies to social spaces and even skate parks, amongst others – traditional cleaning regimes are often not fit for purpose.

It is becoming increasingly important for stores to not only follow hygiene protocols, including regular and routine cleaning, but also ensure programmes are tailored to the environment in which they are deployed. In-built flexibility to pivot and adapt to any new facilities is also essential.

While no two retail destinations are the same, they all share commonalities in their facilities, and these must be addressed in any facility cleaning service.

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[1] https://www.reuters.com/business/retail-consumer/uk-shopper-numbers-fall-15-week-on-week-post-christmas-springboard-data-2022-01-03/

[2] https://www.reuters.com/business/retail-consumer/uk-shopper-numbers-fall-15-week-on-week-post-christmas-springboard-data-2022-01-03/

[3] https://www.precisionfm.co.uk/eye-opening-statistics-on-retail-cleanliness/

[4] https://www.initial.com/blog/industry-insights/retail-hygiene-recommendations/)


[1] https://www.cleanlink.com/news/article/Research-Explores-The-Importance-Of-Clean-In-Retail–18756