How COVID-19 Will Change the Retail Industry
The COVID-19 outbreak resulted in a variety of operational threats for all types of businesses. As the country is gradually moving towards reopening these businesses, experts continue to emphasize the implementation of new operational protocols and safety practices to ensure that the danger of coronavirus exposure is not ignored. The $117 billion US business for commercial cleaning services has thus become increasingly relevant to support businesses in reopening with different priorities for the safety, health, and well-being of customers and employees.
Just as COVID-19 has redefined the professional cleaning industry, the retail sector is also expected to undergo significant changes to navigate the ‘new normal’ and flourish in the future. Investment in partnering with a commercial service provider for frequent cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting is no longer a luxury, it has become a necessity. In a recent survey conducted by the International Council of Shopping Centers, most consumer insights highlight that retail stores with special hygiene and sanitizing protocols are likely to have more footfall than those retailers that prefer to adopt their pre-pandemic cleaning standards. The overall results of this survey suggest that cleaning is essential to make customers more likely to visit retail stores after they reopen for public.
Some of the key findings point out the desired steps that would make visiting physical spaces more likely and convenient for customers, such as:
- 66% consumers ranked frequent cleaning and sanitizing as the top measure
- 62% prefer having more hand sanitizer stations and/or disinfecting cloths available for shoppers
- 62% also prefer to see staff wearing gloves and masks
- 49% require staff/employee training on hygienic protocols
Based on these important survey results, retail businesses would require working closely with a qualified service provider with specialized capabilities to clean and disinfect all spaces, objects, and surfaces with particular emphasis on the store’s high-touch points. Resuming operations after the coronavirus shutdowns, cleaning and disinfecting will require the attention to detail which is more likely to be provided by a professional team than by an in-house team of cleaning staff. In addition, the cleaning personnel are potentially at a higher risk of exposure to coronavirus and are also required to work with hazardous cleaning and disinfecting products. Therefore, it is important to select a partner company that ensures proper employee training, product selection and usage, safety programs, quality assurance, and the use of appropriate PPE.
As the retailers will focus on strategies to recover from the pandemic’s business impact, they will need to understand the value of trust, customer relations, and goodwill for thriving in the future. All these factors greatly depend on the attention given to the health and safety of the customers and employees – which is directly related to the new cleaning and disinfecting protocols implemented by retail stores. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), minimizing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 by cleaning and disinfection is a vital aspect of reopening public spaces which would take careful preparation and planning.
While providing solutions as an essential service through the recent weeks, Diversified Maintenance delivered proven results in the field of facilities maintenance, working relentlessly at customer locations and following the guidelines by experts including CDC and ISSA. Contact us today to learn more about our sanitation, deep cleaning and disinfecting programs customized around the scope of work for all types and sizes of retail facilities.