In the air and in the stores, it’s starting to feel like the holiday season! Over the next several weeks, we’ll all be in meetings discussing sales, click-throughs, markdowns, and all things retail. However, we can’t forget the safety of the customer. As the stores get more crowded, it’s important to plan for a safe shopping experience.
Eric White of Tyco Retail Solutions was our recent guest on the 8th & Walton Conference Call podcast. He offered some interesting insight for retailers and suppliers headed into the busiest time of year. Not only are clean, full shelves great for sales, but also make for a safer shopping environment.
Organized Stores are Safer Stores
“There are obvious reasons to keep clean, full shelves to facilitate sales,” White begins. “However, one interesting aspect of clean and organized shelves is it creates a safer store.”
He points out that most shoppers behave according to their environment. How they treat your store and merchandise is dictated by how the store employees treat them. “When a customer walks into a clean and neat environment, it shows them that the store cares,” he explains. “Because of that, the customer is less likely to mess it up. If it’s messy when they get there and they see outs on the shelves, shoppers won’t feel much personal responsibility to respect the space.”
A Clean Store Can Deter Theft
Eric White and the team at Tyco take a special interest in helping retailers deter theft. When I asked about the rise in theft around the holiday season, he went back to the importance of a clean store. The shopping environment can reinforce behavior.
“As people make a decision to potentially take something without paying for it,” he says, “that behavior is less likely in an environment that’s organized versus an environment that’s chaotic.
“If the store is already a mess, they feel the employees must not care about it. They can rationalize the theft because, in a chaotic environment, it’s much harder to detect. It’s interesting how clean, neat, and organized stores have a real effect on how customers treat the store.”
Giving the Gift of Safety
Whenever I get to visit with an industry leader, I like to ask them what will be hot this holiday. Being a leader in safety and protection, White gave one of my favorite answers. His advice for a great holiday gift is as timely as it is practical.
“I would advise a preparedness kit for every home,” he advises. “Get a flashlight, a weather radio, and have food supplies. Just be able to be independent for a period of time.
“We’re not sure what the winter has in store. The preparedness kit will give you a sense of safety that you can take care of you and your family should anything happen.” To hear our entire interview with even more safety tips for the holidays, click here.