As business owners, we know that storms can cause a lot of havoc. In the aftermath of a winter storm, there are some things that stores need to do in order to minimize the damage and get back to business as usual. In this blog post, we will discuss what those things are.
1. Get Your Sidewalks and Parking Lot Cleared as Soon as Possible
The snow doesn’t need to be gone, but it needs to not be so high that people can’t get by. Besides, if retailers do not take the time to clear their sidewalks and parking lot, customers will not be able to get into the building. This could lead to an unsatisfied customer, which could potentially affect sales.
Make sure the parking lot is clear and accessible, and driveways can be navigated smoothly. Clear entrances in case customers need an alternative way inside due to severe weather conditions.
If you’re busy, call professionals to sweep parking lots, shovel sidewalks, and keep driveways clear. Iowa retailers can reach out to gregslawn.com for these services. These teams are also equipped with the right tools, such as industry-grade or commercial power shovels, snowblowers, and plow trucks.
2. Have Plenty of Staff Available and Ready to Work
After a snowstorm, you can expect customers to come in droves. These are tired, overwhelmed, and sometimes angry people looking to replenish their supplies and hopefully live for a week or so until everything goes back to normal again. In other words, the community depends on your store to help them.
Make sure employees show up and are ready to work during snowstorms. This includes managers, cashiers, stockers, the deli department, etc. Employers should make extra pay available if employees want or need to work during such weather conditions.
If necessary, hire temporary workers for employees who cannot report to work and a sudden increase in customers. After all, it’s better to be overstaffed and underwhelmed than understaffed with a line of impatient shoppers. Even better, consider getting those who have been affected by the snowstorm. Some would appreciate additional income at this time.
3. Ensure That Shelves and Stockrooms Are Ready for Any Delivery
After a snowstorm, deliveries tend to be a lot slower. This is because of decreased traffic and difficult driving conditions.
Make sure store shelves are stocked with items needed during the storm. Not having enough supplies can cause unsatisfied customers or even worse–longer wait times due to limited inventory.
Keep in mind, however, that the snowstorm might have caused some excess inventory such as fresh produce or other perishable goods that you have to dispose of ASAP.
One of the best strategies is to offer these items at a discount. Run promos and sales to decrease inventory and lower product loss. Consult with the marketing department about discounts that actually increase sales for this particular occasion.
4. Prepare Your Store for Unstable Power
After a snowstorm, the power grid is more vulnerable to outages. This can mean a loss of revenue, but it can also mean a safety hazard for customers and staff.
Thus, even after the storm is ever, prepare for these emergencies. Place flashlights and glow sticks near entrances. Place extra light bulbs on shelves as well as lamps to provide extra lighting. Make sure you have a radio tuned in to the latest updates from your power company, so you know when there is an outage or when service has been restored.
Offer all customers safety tips if they are caught outside their homes or even inside the stores in case of a power outage. Invest in generators for backup lighting just in case.
Warmth is crucial during a snowstorm, so offer customers blankets if they come into the store. Perhaps you could even distribute them throughout the community, so everyone has access to some warmth and comfort no matter where they are or what their circumstances might be.
Make sure stores have enough battery-powered and hand warmers available for purchase if you don’t already offer them. These are especially useful in case of power outages, so all customers can still feel some immediate relief from the cold after such a storm.
Even if there isn’t an urgent situation, it’s best to make sure every employee is aware of emergency procedures.
For example, if there are flooding conditions in your area that create puddles on the ground or even heavy runoff on parking lots, employees should be conscious of customers who could slip and fall. Make sure all staff members wear sturdy boots to work during such weather conditions.
Store managers should be aware that customers expect more from their grocery stores after winterstorms. In other words, there is a level of responsibility they have to the community. Make sure every department is ready and available to provide the immediate help needed.