Painting any type of area in a retail store can be a challenge. The key is to be able to complete the work without disrupting the flow of customers and preventing them from having access to the items they need. Any time you take on an activity that can disrupt your customers, you increase your liability. If you plan on undertaking a painting project, you will have to take the necessary precautions to keep your customers safe while you work.
Put Up Notices Throughout the Store
A couple of weeks prior to starting your painting project, put up notices throughout the store that will alert your customers as to what your plans are. This will allow them to alter their shopping schedule if needed or to buy what they need prior to you starting your painting project. Include a diagram that shows what areas you will be working on each day that includes distinct guidelines. This is essential if you plan on blocking off any areas of the store while you are painting.
Section Off the Area Where You Will Be Working
Create boundaries and section off the area where you will be working so customers are kept away from the ladders, wet paint, and cluttered aisles. Make sure that customers aren't able to access your work area. Put up “wet paint” and “no entry” signs along the aisles to prevent customers from crossing the boundaries. It's also a good idea to have two staff in the area so that one will remain in place if you have to leave to get more supplies or take a break.
Avoid Painting During Peak Hours
Avoid painting large areas during your store's peak hours. Instead, get as much done in the hours prior to the store's opening and then take a break during peak shopping hours. Once the flow of customers begins to slow down, you can start sectioning off your work area. This minimizes your effect on your customers and will allow you to work for a few more hours even after the store has closed. It's easier to finish large areas when you don't have to worry about whether or not a customer needs assistance or will try to walk into your restricted painting area.
Keep Your Tools Out of Reach of Your Customers
Make sure you create a large enough area so that your painting tools will be out of the reach of your customers. While most will avoid your tools, there is always a possibility that someone may trip or fall over a tarp, paintbrush or bucket of paint. If at all possible, give yourself an 8 to 10-foot cushion of space between where you are working and your boundary line. Once you have your equipment out and have started to work, make sure to never leave the area unattended. It's also important to make sure the boundaries are secure enough that children can't work their way underneath or through the area.
Be Willing to Get Items Your Customers Need
While the area is sectioned off, your customers won't have access to the items in that area. Make sure there is someone available to retrieve items if a customer requests them. This will keep you from losing a sale and will make sure your customer leaves the store happy and with the items they came in to purchase.
It's important that your customers be able to maintain as normal a shopping routine as possible. If you are on a deadline, though, that may mean having to work during business hours. When you take the necessary precautions to reduce your liability and to maintain the best possible customer service, your painting project will go smoothly and your customers will be inconvenienced as little as possible.
Of course, the best solution to this type of project is to paint while your store is closed. Hiring a professional painting company such as us can get this project underway without disrupting your customers.
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