Continued Sanitation Efforts for Retailers Pull in Customers and Employees

Grocery salad bar
Photograph: Shutterstock

Sanitization, disinfection and cleaning have become more important than ever as food retailers seek to attract customers back into their stores in the wake of the pandemic.

Many consumers have changed their grocery habits during the past year, visiting stores less frequently and conducting more of their food shopping online. For those customers who have continued to shop in-store, retailers’ cleanliness and sanitation procedures, which consumers have long considered important attributes in selecting where to buy groceries, became even more important.

Research from Retail Feedback Group showed that consumers were relatively pleased with retailers’ efforts in this area during 2020. The research, conducted last fall, found that on a scale of 1 to 5, consumers gave the most recent supermarket they visited an average score of 4.41 for cleanliness, behind only quality and freshness, which earned a score of 4.43.

Still, only 33% of respondents said they were “highly confident” in supermarket safety relative to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It's clear that perceived safety now impacts store choice and customer loyalty, and it will for the foreseeable future,” Doug Madenberg, president of Retail Feedback Group, wrote in a recent blog post.

As more and more shoppers resume their pre-pandemic food shopping patterns, they will likely remain highly aware of the cleanliness of the stores they patronize, and are likely making this an even higher priority than before the pandemic. This is especially important for shoppers who have been avoiding stores during the past year because of health and safety concerns.

These consumers and others will be looking for highly visible signs that their supermarkets are making cleanliness and sanitization a priority. Rather than re-using rags to clean surfaces, which don’t offer a strong impression of cleanliness, retailers can instead use PURELL® Foodservice Surface Sanitizing Wipes to give their customers the visual proof they’re looking for that surfaces are as clean and germ-free.

These convenient, ready-to-use wipes, from a brand consumers know and trust, allow workers to easily and efficiently sanitize surfaces throughout the store, killing both viruses and bacteria. PURELL® Foodservice Surface Sanitizing Wipes kill coronavirus in 30 seconds, and are also effective against salmonella, listeria, cold, flu and norovirus.

These wipes are fragrance-free, safe for food contact, FDA Food Code-compliant and registered with the Environmental Protection Agency. PURELL® Foodservice Surface Sanitizing Wipes also require no rinsing or handwashing after use and provide an easy way for staff to manage sanitation needs without the hassle of mixing chemicals with traditional dilution systems.

Making cleaning and sanitation easy for workers not only makes their jobs easier, but also helps reassure them that their employers are as concerned about their health and safety as much as they are about the health and safety of customers. At a time when many retailers are doing everything they can to attract both qualified workers and bring customers back into the store, having convenient, highly visible systems in place for cleaning and sanitation can play a big role.

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This post is sponsored by GOJO Industries, the inventors of the PURELL brand