Keep a clean bathroom--is that really a directive your average gift shop owner thinks about on a daily basis?

Well, it might not be the most glamorous or interesting part of the job, but ensuring your restroom leaves a positive impression on those who visit it can actually pay big dividends.

Two Bathroom Scenarios

Think about it: You spend so much time and effort making sure your retail store has a certain aesthetic and appeal. You're diligent about creating a unifying atmosphere and charm, whether you're dusting and vacuuming or fine-tuning the arrangement of items on the shelves.

All that devoted care, though, can be for naught if you neglect regular and thorough upkeep in the bathroom. A shopper may enter it entranced by your shop's warm décor and intriguing inventory, only to sour instantly at the wretched conditions inside: the off-putting stench, the dead roach in the sink, the broken toilet seat, the cheap soap, the sticky floor, the stained wall, the empty paper-towel dispenser--a litany of bad marks against your establishment.

That's a would-be customer more likely than not to walk out your doors without buying anything. In other words, a shoddily maintained or filthy restroom can hurt you financially.

Ah, but consider the alternative scenario--the one in which you've been as focused on bathroom design and sanitation as you have on the condition of the rest of your store. A customer enjoys the spotlessness of the restroom; she appreciates the attractive pictures on the wall and the specialty soaps at the sink, products that she'll also find for sale on the shelves.

Such a shopper realizes--consciously or not--that if you're paying such close attention to the state of your bathroom, you're assuredly putting a lot of thought and care into the store in general. There's a good chance she'll continue browsing and make a purchase (maybe even buying something she used or saw in the restroom!).

A Basic Bathroom Checklist

Have we convinced you yet of the value of a meticulously cared-for bathroom? Good! So--what does that entail, exactly?

Here's a basic rundown of some daily tasks:

  • Check levels of toilet tissue, hand towels, facial tissues, and hand soap and restock when necessary.
  • Empty out the garbage bins, wipe down if needed, and replace bin liners as required.
  • Clean and shine the mirrors.
  • Wipe down hand-towel cabinet covers and/or hand dryers.
  • Thoroughly dust and wipe down the doorsills.
  • Clean and disinfect/sanitize toilets and urinals on both sides, then wipe dry.
  • Clean and sanitize all faucets and sinks.
  • Dust partitions, mirror tops, and picture frames.
  • Remove splash marks from the walls around sinks.
  • Mop clean restroom floors with disinfectant.

It's a good idea to check on the status of the bathroom--and the potential need for any of the above maintenance in the middle of the workday.

Really, keeping your store restroom shipshape isn't very hard or time-consuming, and the energy that you do commit to it directly benefits your business. Check regularly on the bathroom situation and quickly attend to any tasks at hand; the necessary upkeep and repairs will become second-nature and standard practice in no time.