Are store conditions driving consumers online?
One less talked about advantage of online shopping is avoiding the grime, odors, sloppiness and other forms of annoyance that often occur at physical retail.
A survey of 2,082 U.S. adults commissioned by Cintas Corp., the provider or work uniforms as well as cleaning and safety solutions, found that 78 percent of shoppers would not return to a store due to general bad odor, becoming the leading reason shoppers would avoid a store due to a facility issue.
The remaining top five reasons were:
- Dirty restrooms (e.g., floors, stalls, mirrors, odor) – 66 percent;
- Dirty surfaces (e.g., dust on displays, dust bunnies on floors) – 65 percent;
- Entryway cleanliness (e.g., cigarette butts, overflowing trash cans, unkempt appearance) – 60 percent;
- Dressing room conditions (e.g., dirty mirrors, dirty floors, broken locks, lighting issues) – 56 percent.
Consumers also cited as factors that would influence them in choosing to not return to a store: broken or cracked glass, 53 percent; plumbing issues (e.g., toilets and/or sinks not working), 52 percent; slippery floors (e.g., wetness, dirt/dust), 52 percent; noise (e.g., loud music, loud employees, phones ringing), 43 percent; lighting issues (e.g., light fixtures out, not working properly, poor lighting), 40 percent; and temperature (e.g., too hot/too cold), 30 percent.
The problems cited in the survey seemed to be more the result of a lack of investment or commitment to maintenance than understaffing. The most-common associate-driven issue appears to be general untidiness and is often linked to sellers of apparel and footwear, such as department stores.
The New York Post last week blamed a drastic cut in associate hours since mid-April by J.C. Penney to shore up first-quarter results for widespread untidiness at the chain in the latter part of that month. An employee told the Post, “If you walked into a J.C. Penney store during those two weeks, you would have seen clothes on the floor and fitting rooms in disarray.”
- Study Reveals that 93 Percent of U.S. Adults Would Avoid a Store with Facility Flaws – Cintas Corp.
- Macy’s woes could signal trouble for retailers – Los Angeles Times (tiered sub.)
- JCPenney takes emergency measures to protect bottom line – New York Post
Are subpar store conditions driving customers to prefer shopping online? What are the most persistently, annoying in-store condition issues and have any become worse?