Retail Hygiene

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Good Retail Hygiene Recommendations

Unhygienic and poorly maintained bathrooms have been found to negatively affect judgement and reduce the likelihood to purchase, as well as reduce the willingness to pay for products.

66% of shoppers say they would reduce their shopping time to avoid unacceptable hygiene standards.

In the retail industry where achieving return business is key to profitability, the potential impact of poor hygiene could be damaging to your business and could:

  • Drive traffic online or to your competitors.
  • Reduce the length of shoppers’ stay and consequently their overall spend
  • At busy periods, drive people away as facilities cannot cope with increased volume of traffic
  • Alienate some visitors by not providing the right facilities, resulting in customers not returning

Entrances / escalators / cash desks:

The entrance to any retail store - regardless of location - is the customer's first glimpse into your business. Make it a warm welcome into an environment which reflects well on your brand.

Contaminated hands can transfer germs to seven separate surfaces, and germs can live on a surface for up to 48 hours, so ensure that high-traffic areas such entrances and high-touch surfaces such as counters, till points and hand-rails are free of dirt, sticky handprints and streaks.

Consider the following:

  • Invest in quality floor care to protect your flooring and keep dirt and dust from being tracked across your shop floor.
  • Install air fresheners or air purifiers to counteract bad smells and create a great first impression.
  • Ensure hand and surface sanitisers are available to kill germs and help prevent the spread of infection.


Bathrooms are an integral part of a pleasant shopping experience and have a huge impact on shopper dwell time and spend.

An average 75% of people surveyed say the bathroom facilities in retail environments are extremely or very important.

Effective cleaning programs should not simply focus on removing visible dirt, but should also pay attention to risk areas such as feminine hygiene facilities, handles and areas around the sink.

  • Keep your bathroom facilities clean and adequately stocked, so that shoppers are able at all times to safely wash and dry hands and dispose of sanitary waste.
  • Automatic, no touch dispensers can help to reduce the transmission of germs, which can enhance customer experience.
  • Freshen up your bathroom with Premium Scenting to ensure visitors remain happy during their stay.

Food courts / kitchens / food preparation areas:

Studies have found that the bacteria level in some food courts is 1,000 times above the acceptable standard.

Open kitchens in food courts are highly visible to your visitors and reflect how much your management team cares about your customers. Food hygiene and safety are critical to complement the overall shopping experience.

  • Wipe high chairs thoroughly after each use to reduce the risk of surface to hand contamination.
  • Ensure sink areas are clean and have the right hand wash, drying and sanitising facilities.
  • Educate staff on appropriate hand wash and glove usage procedures.
  • Kitchen surfaces should be regularly cleaned. To further minimise cross contamination provide a hand sanitiser.

Baby changing / disability facilities:

Studies have found that some baby changing rooms have bacteria levels of 165 times the safe limit.

Babies, young children and the disabled are the most vulnerable to infectious diseases in the retail environment. Young children in particular, due to their immature immune systems, are at risk of contracting and transmitting infections through close contact with other children and via exposure to shared facilities.

  • Hand and surface sanitisers will kill germs and help prevent the spread of infection.
  • Ensure sink areas are clean and have the right hand wash, drying and sanitising facilities.
  • Bad smells in these facilities make shoppers believe the environment is unclean. Scenting solutions can help counteract any malodours.

Children's play areas:

Hands are a natural breeding ground for germs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 80% of all infections are transmitted by hands. 

Little hands are always touching objects - from toys to toilet seats - which means they can easily pick up and spread germs. Parents will be more confident when visiting malls and stores with hygienic play areas for children.

  • Play equipment and toys should be regularly wiped down and sanitised to ensure germs are not spread.  You can consider having an antibacterial fogging service done on this area.
  • Door handles and common surfaces are often overlooked when cleaning. Ensure a good cleaning program and provide access to hand sanitisers to minimise the risk of cross-contamination in play areas.

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