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Shopping For A Sparkling Clean Christmas

Steve Iles and one of his retail operatives.
Steve Iles and one of his retail operatives.
04 December 2019

Steve Iles, general manager at ABM, discusses the importance of cleaning during the busy retail period pre-Christmas and of course during the winter sales.

With the Christmas shopping retail boom well and truly upon us, it is time for FM's in the sector to double and triple check they are prepared - and check their contractors have done the same.

It is imperative that additional team members are available to cover any unplanned absences. Being unprepared can lead to a number of complications, including untreated health and safety issues such as spills, and having insufficient quantities of cleaning products and consumables to accommodate the increased number of visitors.


Prepare the team

It’s important to liaise closely with centre management teams to be aware of extended trading hours and expected foot traffic. After reviewing previous years’ footfall, adjust the roster to ensure that priority areas, such as toilets, entrances and food courts are maintained throughout the busiest periods. If anything, visitors’ service expectations are higher than usual and it’s up to the cleaning teams to meet these with a clean and safe environment.

Looking past the physical work that is required, it’s also important that team members are prepared for the increased number of people who will be engaging with them throughout the event.

All of ABM’s team members participate in our Brand Ambassador training course, which promotes the values of both ABM and the customer through all interactions with visitors. Cleaning operatives should have a memorable impact on each visitor’s experience, whether it’s helping someone find their way or simply greeting with a smile.


Stock up

An increase in spillages and waste inevitably means that cleaning supplies will be in higher demand. Review all stock, consult previous years’ records and ensure that demands will be provided for. This covers anything from basic cleaning products, to ensuring that the waste management team has the correct supplies available in order to remove excess waste efficiently and effectively.


One beyond of the madness

It’s important to remember that for a shopping centre after a retail event, it’s still business as usual; the centre has to be clean and operational for visitors the very next day. Scrubber dryers and other electrical equipment will need to be fully charged and ready for use, products will need to be restocked and team members must be available.

Waste recycling resources will need to be taken into consideration, to ensure that the compactor and bins are emptied frequently and are clear to take on the next day’s rubbish.


The customer first

Busy sales events (Christmas, Black Friday and the summer sales for example) are an exciting part of retail contracts. A well-managed event is essential to maintain the centre’s positive relationship with its visitors - facilities management teams have the responsibility to maintain this.

Picture: Steve Iles and one of his retail operatives.

Article written by Brian Shillibeer | Published 04 December 2019


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