Keep Shoppers Shopping: Peak Holiday Season Retail Facility Management Tips

Preparing for the holiday season is a significant undertaking for retail facilities. Facility managers are responsible for ensuring the shopping environment is optimized for a safe and enjoyable experience and completing repairs, upgrades, and seasonal add-ons on time and within budget.

While balancing these responsibilities before the holiday rush is always crucial, this year, in particular, is significant as consumers return to in-person shopping after the impact of COVID-19. That’s right. Customers are eager to return to shopping in-store after three years of primarily online shopping due to the pandemic. The data supports this trend, with brick-and-mortar holiday spending reaching an impressive $1 trillion in 2022, marking a 3.9% increase from the previous year.1 With customers ready to get back to shopping in-store, we want to help you optimize your retail facility. This comprehensive checklist has tips and strategies to keep shoppers happy during the busiest time of year.

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Exterior Safety: Create a Safe & Welcoming First Impression

To make a positive first impression, inspect and clean storefront windows, entryways, and exterior signage. Address faulty parking lot surfaces, cracked sidewalks, and dim or flickering lights. Ensure the safety and security of stairwells and ramps by checking handrails for stability. And don’t forget, holiday shoppers delight in seasonal décor, so don’t forget to adorn the exterior of your facility.

    • Storefronts: Inspect and clean all windows and entryways.
    • Asphalt and concrete: Address any issues with parking lot surfaces.
    • Parking lot lighting: Check and replace any faulty parking lot lights.
    • Stairwells and ramps: Ensure smooth surfaces and handrail security.

Interior Appeal: Transform Your Space for a Festive Experience

Enhancing the interior aesthetics of your retail facility is essential to creating a festive atmosphere. Consider decorating displays and incorporating seasonal themes. With an influx of shoppers, it’s also necessary to maintain clean and clutter-free common areas. Take the time to check the condition of doors, ceilings, shelving, displays, cabinets, hardware, glass, and mirrors. Touching up any necessary areas with paint and keeping everything neat and organized will make a significant difference.

    • Sheetrock repair: Ensure that any damaged sheetrock is repaired promptly.
    • Doors and hardware: Check that all doors and hardware work well.
    • Ceilings: Inspect ceilings for any issues and fix them accordingly.
    • Shelving and displays: Keep shelves and displays neat and organized.
    • Painting: Touch up any areas that need it.
    • Cabinets and hardware: Ensure that cabinets and hardware are in good condition.
    • Glass and mirrors: Clean and maintain glass and mirrors for a clear and appealing look.

Lighting the Way: Provide a Secure Environment for Shoppers

Proper lighting inside and outside your retail facility is crucial to creating a welcoming and secure environment. Check and replace faulty lamps and ballasts, ensure lighting controls function correctly, and consider conducting thermal inspections to identify potential electrical issues. Switching to energy-efficient LED lights and lighting timers can improve the shopping experience and energy efficiency. Monitoring meters and panels for problems and adjusting track lighting as needed is also essential. And don’t forget to take the proper precautions with seasonal string lights.

    • Lamps and ballasts: Check and replace any faulty lamps and ballasts.
    • Lighting controls: Ensure that all lighting controls are functioning correctly.
    • Thermal inspections: Conduct thermal inspections to identify any electrical issues.
    • LEDs and drivers: Consider switching to LED lights for energy efficiency.
    • Lighting timers: Set up lighting timers to save energy when the facility is closed.
    • Track lighting: Adjust track lighting as needed.
    • Meters and panels: Regularly check meters and panels for any problems.

Clean and Safe Restrooms: Offer Comfort and Convenience

Clean and safe restrooms are essential to keep shoppers shopping in your store. Regularly clean and sanitize the facilities, address any malfunctioning toilets or sinks, check water heaters, and conduct regular inspections for leaks. Consider increasing the frequency of daily maintenance checks to account for the increased volume of guests during the peak holiday season. Implementing pest control measures to prevent pests in restrooms and ensuring essential supplies are stocked will enhance the restrooms’ overall experience.

    • Toilet repair and replace: Repair or replace any malfunctioning toilets.
    • Sink repair and replace: Address any issues with sinks promptly.
    • Water heaters: Check water heaters for proper functioning.
    • Leak detection: Conduct regular inspections for leaks.
    • Drain lines, pipes, and fixtures: Inspect and fix any issues with drains and pipes.
    • Pest control: Implement measures to prevent pests in restrooms.

Security First: Deter Theft and Protect Your Guests

Review and update security protocols, including surveillance systems, access controls, and alarm systems. Regularly inspect and maintain exit and emergency lighting, fire sprinkler systems, and lock and panic devices. Increasing security personnel presence will deter thefts and create a sense of security for shoppers.

    • Exit and emergency lighting: Ensure all exit and emergency lighting is in working order.
    • Fire sprinkler repair: Regularly inspect and maintain fire sprinkler systems.
    • Lock and panic devices: Test and maintain lock and panic devices.

Convenience Is Key: Enhance Parking, Check-Out Lines, and Trash Disposal

Consider partnering with nearby parking facilities or offering reserved spots for loyal customers. Conduct thorough equipment checks to ensure cash registers, POS systems, scanners, and shopping carts function optimally. Increase the frequency of trash disposal and recycling services and provide signage and color-coded bins to encourage customers to dispose of waste appropriately. And finally, make sure convenient amenities like water fountains and vending machines are working correctly to enhance the overall shopping experience.

Wrapping Up: Don’t Delay—Holiday Shopping Starts Soon!

As you prepare for the upcoming holiday season, we hope this comprehensive checklist will help you prioritize your retail facilities’ maintenance and optimization needs—because time is of the essence! Holiday shopping trends have evolved to start sooner and sooner due to major retailers starting Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions as early as October.

This is one reason Retail Maintenance Specialists leverage an “always-on” approach. Rather than waiting for peak season to tackle these repairs, upgrades, and add-ons, we leverage a rolling priority list to ensure customers have a pleasant shopping experience all year.

To ensure your retail facility is well-managed during this busy season and beyond, do not hesitate to contact us for expert facility management services. Contact us today to learn how we can support your facility management needs and contribute to an unforgettable holiday shopping experience for your customers.

 

1 US Holiday 2022 Review and Holiday 2023 Preview, eMarketer  

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