The coronavirus outbreak is not only impacting consumer shopping patterns.
Retailers across the board, from Target and Kroger to Ulta Beauty and Starbucks, have upped their store cleaning regiments and taken other precautionary measures to protect shoppers and employees from the coronavirus outbreak.
New from ServiceChannel details the uptick in select facilities services by retail category so far in 2020 versus 2019 and 2018. Here are some insights:
• Luxury retailers have seen an 84% increase of 84% in janitorial cleaning and carpet (shampooing) cleaning;
• Big-box retailers have seen a 35% increase in HVAC air filter cleanings and janitorial work orders;
• Grocery stores have seen an increase of 18% in janitorial cleaning;
• All types of restaurants (QSR, full-service, etc.) have sees an average increase of 53% in cleaning, primarily in janitorial and kitchen; and
• Healthcare-related offices/stores (e.g. offices) have an increase of 66% in janitorial work orders.
“While foot traffic dropoff to stores is a big concern for brands, a big question is how they can mitigate consumer fear,” said Tom Buiocchi, CEO, ServiceChannel. “One way is by ensuring consumers that they are taking health and safety seriously by taking the proactive steps of deep cleaning their stores or increased cleaning schedules. It’s not just an aesthetic issue anymore, it’s a step in rebuilding consumer trust.”
On the logistical side, brands must be carefully tracking this maintenance — in-store employees will not have the time to give to this on an individual, store-by-store basis, added Buiocchi.
“Where consumers see cleanliness being handled proactively and effectively is where consumers will be putting their trust and shopping,” he said.