Retailers on Best Practices for Maintaining Dark Stores

Retailers learned an important lesson since March: Temporarily shuttered stores need constant attention.

Store inspections conducted during the pandemic revealed unexpected damages, many of which caused store preservation work orders to surge. As a result, retailers are rethinking best practices when it comes to inspecting and managing stores during extended closures.

Retailers didn’t miss a beat when it came to proactively cleaning and disinfecting stores before re-opening for customers. However, repairing unexpected damages caused by faulty plumbing, loss of electricity, and other factors gave some companies a run for their money.

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“We did a decent job envisioning what maintenance would be needed before reopening but some issues were unexpected,” Tony DiSpirito, director of store preservation at Sephora, told Chain Store Age.

“We had minor leaks that stained or partially collapsed a ceiling, or caused a floor to buckle, for example,” he said. “However, these [issues] resulted in a significant uptick in work order volume for our team, and simultaneously handling different projects across all of our stores was tough.”

Looking back, DiSpirito would have conducted proactive assessments to stay abreast of potential repairs.

“If I could do things differently, I would have sent out preventive maintenance teams regularly to address these issues while stores were temporarily closed,” he said. (Want to hear more lessons these retailers learned during the pandemic?)… Chain Store Age

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