February is a slow month for most of the retail world. Seasonal products are in a holding pattern, and consumers are still hunkering down for winter. That makes now a perfect time to do some spring cleaning and get your store ready for a profitable spring. Here’s a quick checklist that will help you clean up.
Retail Spring Cleaning Checklist
1. Clean and organize your stockroom. It’s probably gotten pretty out of control over the holiday shopping season. Dust, vacuum and re-shelve everything so they’re easy to find. Take inventory and place any orders for new merchandise.
2. Clear out those clearance items once and for all. (Read my post on how to hold a clearance sale.) If you can’t sell it in the next week, donate it to charity and take the tax write-off instead.
3. Clear the air. Check light fixtures, ceiling fans and air conditioning vents; note anything that needs repair or replacement. Dust the tops of shelves and displays. Vacuum air vents.
4. Color your world. Wash the walls and touch up any dings or nicks. Do your walls need a fresh coat of paint? Even if they’re clean, painting an accent wall an eye-catching color can give your store a new look for spring.
5. Assess your layout. Are there awkward areas where customers never go or overcrowded aisles that pose a safety hazard? How could you use your layout more effectively to drive customers to key points in your store, such as your highest-margin products or your new arrivals? If you need to order new displays or shelving, do so.
6. Purge your files. Delete computer files you don’t need anymore; shred unwanted paper after scanning any documents you need to keep. Update employee records with current contact information for your staff so you always know how to reach them.
7. Evaluate your loss prevention programs. Do you and your employees have a clear view of the entire store so you can keep an eye on shoppers? Are your security cameras and alarm system in good repair?
8. Be prepared. Check your store’s smoke detectors and put in fresh batteries. Review your emergency plan and make sure employees know what to do in the event of a burglary or natural disaster. Go over your store’s insurance policy and make sure it’s up-to-date.
9. Clean the carpets or flooring. Depending on your material, your floors may need waxing, ceiling or refinishing. If you have carpet, have it professionally cleaned or if it’s in really bad shape, replace it.
10. Check your tech. Make sure your software is up-to-date and your peripherals are working. Do you need to look into new point-of-sale systems, inventory management software or loyalty program apps? Stock up on point-of-sale supplies like bags and receipt tape.
11. Get your customers involved in spring cleaning, too. Collect unwanted items for charity and give customers a discount for every item they donate. A pet store could collect used towels and blankets for donations to animal shelters; a sporting goods store could collect used athletic equipment and give it to an organization for underprivileged children.
12. Put on a good front. Don’t forget to clean up the outside of your store as well. Wash your store windows, clean the front display area and polish doors and handles. Pick up trash outside your store and sweep the pathway. A new doormat or entry rug can make your store more inviting.
Once your store is spick-and-span, sit down in your clean, organized office and plan your spring marketing and promotions, store windows and displays.
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