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Retailers should think twice about skimping on the daily cleaning of their stores. That’s the big take-away from a recent study by M/A/R/C Research and National In-Store that examines how consumers’ perceptions of store cleanliness affect shopping experiences. The study offers insights into the impact of store appearance by seven retail categories, including grocery, drug stores, mass merchandisers, department stores and consumer electronics. Retailers were evaluated on the appearance of their parking lots, restrooms and lighting, and on in-store litter.
Across all the surveyed categories, more than a third of all respondents indicated that store cleanliness was extremely important (it was most important for grocery stores, followed by department stores). Fourteen percent said they would stop shopping at a store that was not as clean as they would like; 29% said they would only visit the store to pick up a few items that they could not find elsewhere. By category, the impact of unclean stores was greatest for supermarkets (19% said they would stop going to the store) and drug stores (17%).
“Clearly, cleanliness is an important component of the consumer experience. It impacts consumers’ willingness to shop at a given retailer and also influences frequency of shopping and the length of time consumers are willing to shop. All of this has a direct impact on the amount of spending a retailer captures,” said Randy Wahl, senior VP, M/A/R/C Research, Irving, Texas.