15 Dec 2014

Keeping the Front-End Clean…

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What’s most important every day in retail (what’s the goal)?

1) Great customer service
2) Knowing that the customer is always right (and will always be right)
3) Being in-stock
4) Having a clean and shoppable store always (every day)!

Of these 4 daily important goals…the easiest to attain each day is always having a clean and shoppable store.

Welcome to the second in a series of 8 ‘Store Revitalization’ articles related to cleaning up your store and creating a favorable shopping experience for your customers and associates.

Impressions of your store begin before customers set foot inside. A store may have great service and a wonderful selection inside…but they may be turned off by the look from outside your store.

Customer impressions matter.

Why must customers endure a cluttered checkout or returns experience?

Your Customers deserve a much better experience! If you are not worried about the look and cleanliness of your store…this article is not for you.

If you want to have the cleanest, nicest checkout around…then I recommend you take a ‘fresh’ look at your Front End from a customer perspective. The benefit you will see is an improved overall shopping experience that continues through the checkout process…start creating that consistent and lasting checkout experience for your customers today!

Another reason to keep the Front End clean and organized is associate productivity. Associates will be more productive and appreciate working in a clean, organized work area.

Here are some things I learned along the way about keeping a store clean every day.

1. Front-End Checkout

Is the final portion of your customer shopping experience pleasant or frustrating? Are the queue lines and register stations cluttered with merchandise and signage? Are you presenting an unobstructed easy path for customers to pay before exiting your store?

Queue Areas:
• Is there a clear queuing method for customers to checkout
• First-In, First-Out queue is the most equitable and efficient of the queuing methods
• Ensure queue is wide enough for at least 2 customers (with carts) to access
• Review and eliminate ‘slow moving’ non-impulse items from queue merchandise
• Ensure all queue area is merchandised with no out-of-stocks
• Ensure price points are not set above $2.00
• Do not display product behind Cashier station (customer has already purchased)

Returns / Checkout Register Stations:
• Clean each station and ensure each has all necessary supplies/forms
• Ensure all checkout equipment is working properly
• Remove product merchandised on register counters (1 focus item is acceptable)
• Remove any signage or mats placed on the register counters
• Clear register aisles of protruding product and displays
• De-clutter area behind register stations
• Remove any old decals, stickers and hand-written notes

2. Service Desk Area

Are your Service Desk areas presenting a professional look for your guests?

Focus on these Service Desk areas:
• Remove merchandise, clutter and trash from behind desks
• Clean out all drawers and cabinets
• Remove any product merchandised in front of Returns and/or Service Desk
• Remove any handwritten signage
• Ensure any hanging banners are clean, unobstructed and free of damage

3. Work Stations (any work stations visible to your customers)

Does your store have associates work stations on the sales floor? Review the following for each of your work stations that are visible to your customers:
• Remove any promotional signage from work station
• Clear computer areas of personal items…area must be clean, neat and organized
• Remove merchandise from drawers and cabinets
• Remove associate information and schedules visible to customers
• Ensure chairs and desk are clean, stable and in good working condition

4. It’s an Ongoing Process

As with anything in your store, keeping it clean is an ongoing process. The goal here is to keep making progress and focus on improving your store.

Improving and creating a consistent overall shopping experience for your customers should always be a priority!

Previous articles in this ‘Store Revitalization’ series focused on:
 Why a clean, organized store is good for business

Upcoming articles in this series focusing on a clean, organized store include:
 Racetrack (focusing on the front, middle and back aisles)
 Store Restrooms, Associate Appearance and Break Rooms
 Interior Aisles (endcaps, wing-stacks, clip-strips and overhead organization)
 Showrooms and Seasonal swing areas
 Storewide Signage
 Receiving (including equipment maintenance and store fixtures)

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