Retail Store Cleaning Services: An Essential Investment

Karen Lawes

Written by: Karen Lawes Maguire

Karen is the founder and CEO of, a leading cleaning industry website. With 10+ years experience, she's an expert on new cleaning technologies, regulations, and best practices.

Retail Store Cleaning

Shoppers have a top 3 list when deciding where to shop: Price, Selection, and Cleanliness.

Today's shoppers have more options than ever before, which means you can't afford to drop the ball on any of those items. Most retail operators understand what their customers are looking for regarding price and selection.

What Does Cleanliness Mean to Your Customers?

Respondents to an Entrepreneur survey shared some surprising thoughts on the importance of cleanliness. Specifically, hygiene was not their number one concern.

Instead, they expressed their thoughts on how a clean store makes them feel.

Shoppers say they feel safer in a clean facility. They also feel like it's less likely that theft occurs in a clean store.

They have more confidence in the store and its staff, and feel as though the brand cares more about them. The result is a more pleasant shopping experience, and a higher level of shopper loyalty.

"Clean stores are really good for business," says Bob Robinson Sr., Founder and President of Kaivac, a leading provider of professional cleaning solutions for retail facilities.

"When that customer begins walking into the entryway and it's unkept, it leaves a bad first impression, and then as he goes down the merchandise aisles, and if they're not kept well, he's kind of wondering about the quality of the merchandise."

Robinson emphasizes that cleanliness impacts every aspect of the retail experience.

"And then when he goes into the restroom, and that's dirty, it's a big turn off and drives customers away, so, bottom line is, clean stores are really, really important for the retailer's bottom line."

This perspective from the head of a major cleaning company reinforces why retail stores must make professional cleaning services a top priority. Clean facilities lead directly to better customer perceptions, repeat business, and sales.

An overwhelming 99% of US adults said poor cleanliness would negatively impact their perception of a business, according to a national survey.

So, how exactly do your customers define "clean?" They look for five metrics:

  • Are the product displays neat and orderly?
  • Are the restrooms clean and fully stocked?
  • Does it have good lighting?
  • Does it smell clean?
  • Is the checkout area clean?

If you can meet each of those metrics, you are on your way to giving your buyers the shopping experience they desire.

94% of people reported in a poll that they would avoid a business completely in the future if they encountered dirty restrooms while shopping there.

For retail stores, clean and sanitary facilities are a must for attracting customers and protecting their health. Yet diligent cleaning takes considerable time and labor many retailers can't spare.

Hiring professional cleaning services brings essential expertise, efficiency and consistency to the task.

95% of shoppers affirmed that a store's exterior appearance greatly influences where they decide to shop, with over half avoiding businesses purely due to a dirty store front.

Average Retail Cleaning Costs

Typical retail cleaning costs include:

  • Basic cleaning: $0.05 - $0.10 per square foot
  • Comprehensive cleaning: $0.12 - $0.17 per square foot
  • Deep cleaning: $0.15 - $0.25 per square foot

Costs scale up for grocery stores and chains with higher sanitation needs. Frequency, hours, and corporate versus franchise ownership also impact pricing.

Real World Retail Cleaning Cost Examples

"We own 2 suburban apparel shops of around 3000 square feet each. For daily cleaning of floors, bathrooms, windows, and trash removal, we pay $650 monthly per store."
"Our department store is 75,000 square feet. We have a contract for $5100 monthly for comprehensive daily cleaning like sweeping, sanitizing, floor cleaning, and periodic tasks like pressure washing."
"For my independent grocery store, I pay $3000 per month for daily cleaning. This includes detailed sanitizing of food prep areas to maintain health standards."
"We have a national retail chain. For the franchise location cleaning, we pay a flat rate of $1200 weekly. This covers daily tidying of floors, fixtures, restrooms, break areas, and outside sidewalks."

Retail Store Floor Cleaning Services

Vital Cleaning Areas in Retail Stores

Several zones in a retail store require frequent cleaning and sanitizing:

  • Sales floors: accumulate dirt, debris, and dust continuously from foot traffic. Sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, and sanitizing floors throughout the day keeps areas clean.
  • Dressing rooms: trying on clothing leads to messy dressing rooms. Attendants must frequently tidy rooms, return items to racks, disinfect surfaces, and remove trash.
  • Restrooms: retail restrooms see heavy use. Toilet bowls, sinks, mirrors and floors need constant disinfecting. Stocking toilet paper, soap, and paper towels is essential.
  • Windows and displays: fingerprint smudges accumulate quickly on glass surfaces like windows and displays. Cleaners have to scrub inside and out to keep glass sparkling.
  • Checkout areas: counters need frequent sanitizing to stop germ spread. Cleaners also spot mop spills, take out trash, and sanitize cash registers in checkout zones.

Unique Cleaning Challenges in Retail

Retail cleaning comes with unique challenges:

  • Extremely high foot traffic causes constant dirt buildup.
  • Displays and merchandise easily get fingerprints during handling.
  • Dressing rooms have clothing messes and require heavy disinfecting.
  • Grocery stores have extensive food safety standards.
  • Large retail spaces take extensive time to fully clean.

Recommended Retail Cleaning Schedule

A combination of daily, weekly, and periodic cleaning best maintains store cleanliness:

Frequency Tasks Performed
Daily Sweeping and mopping floors, sanitizing surfaces, emptying trash, spot cleaning
Weekly Comprehensive floor cleaning, display case cleaning, window washing, dusting
Monthly or Quarterly Carpets shampooed, walls washed, air duct cleaning, pressure washing outside areas

Hiring Professional Retail Cleaning Services

Outsourcing to a commercial cleaning service brings many advantages:

  • Takes cleaning off staff's responsibility list so they can focus on customers.
  • Consistent quality using proper supplies and standardized processes.
  • Cost efficiencies from pro cleaners' expertise.
  • Flexibility to increase cleaning during high traffic times.
  • Allow store to maintain brand image through cleanliness.

Questions to Ask Prospective Cleaners

Key questions when selecting a retail cleaning service include:

  • Do you have experience cleaning retail stores and understand the challenges?
  • Can you provide a detailed cleaning plan and checklist?
  • What green certified supplies and HEPA-filter vacuums do you use?
  • How will you address seasonal cleaning needs like holiday rushes?
  • What are your pricing models and cost structures?

The Benefits of Clean Retail Spaces

Investing in store cleanliness pays dividends through:

  • Improved customer experience and more repeat visits.
  • Projecting an organized, professional brand image.
  • Healthier environments for workers and shoppers.
  • Higher sales as customers linger longer in appealing spaces.

For most retailers, outsourcing cleaning services can be a winning strategy for maintaining immaculate, customer-friendly stores.

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