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A speck on the budget, a splash in consequences

21 January 2014

Large supermarket chain rubs out window cleaning, but what are the implications?

In December it was announced that supermarket group Morrisons had cancelled all window cleaning at its stores for two months as it battles against declining sales. In an email seen by The Telegraph, Maintenance Management Ltd (MML), which handles Morrisons’ facilities, told contractors that the retailer is facing a "tough end of year in respect of their budgetary position”. As well as the "financial constraints”,  MML claimed that window cleaning was cancelled because "the weather forecast for this winter shows an increase in snow and frost”.

Morrisons went on further to state that "Morrisons has decided to reduce window cleaning at stores because it is less important to customers at the darkest time of the year, because the water that runs off windows can be a slippage hazard in the winter, and so we can spend money on maintenance activity that our customers do care about at this time of year."

There are three issues with this:-

  • Windows are expensive. They should not be neglected. Not only is cleaning good for aesthetics, but also for preservation. Regular cleaning saves your windows from being scratched and pitted over a period of time. A further benefit is that it prevents calcium and minerals deposits from forming on the glass, allowing additional light from the outside to enter.
  • Customer perception is a huge part of a business image and determines whether a customer enters your store. In a recent study over half of consumers (52%) have avoided a business altogether because it looked dirty/unclean from the outside. These consumers form an opinion of a business based on physical presence, which heavily influences their decision to shop at a location. 95% say that exterior appearance is important in their selection of a place to shop.
  • Staff wellbeing as well is affected, having a clean working environment can inspire staff to put more effort into their appearance and general work duties. Everyone enjoys working in a nice environment.

Although window cleaning is usually an industry that is overlooked on a day-to-day basis, it plays a pivotal role in bringing in new customers and creating a strong loyalty with existing clients. 

Only time will tell and sale reports whether this will cost the supermarket chain or not, what do you think? 


Written by Yorkshire-based Solutions 4 Cleaning