Retail Store Opening Checklist

  • Clearing the Store

  • It’s never a good idea to rush customers out the door, but in any business, there is a closing time. It’s appropriate to make an announcement at a proper time (say, 15 minutes before closing) to warn clients that the store will be closing soon. It’s also reasonable to lock the doors and station a member of your staff to allow customers to exit only.

  • Security Check

  • Never assume because no one is visible that your store is empty. Your nightly checklist should include provisions for a visual inspection of all areas including restrooms, stockrooms, and closets. This is a good idea to help prevent both robberies and burglaries from someone hiding away.

  • Housekeeping

  • Even if your retail establishment is large enough to require an overnight cleaning and stocking crew, having your closing crew complete some rudimentary housekeeping will install a sense of ownership in them and make everyone’s life easier.

  • Straightening Shelves

  • Customers and browsing shoppers don’t always put products back where they belong or in a neat manner. An ideal time for your staff to start straightening up and reorganizing misplaced items is while they’re waiting for the last customers to exit the building.  

  • Nightly Cleaning and Stocking

  • If your closing crew is also responsible for part of your house cleaning then the specific tasks that they own should be spelled out on your closing checklist. This helps avoid the “not my problem” syndrome that can plague many businesses. The same is true of any stocking duties that are their responsibilities.

  • Closing Registers and POS Systems

  • This is a job that should be reserved for or at least overseen by management personnel. In some cases, you might also trust a long-tenured cashier with this task. A specific time should be laid out for counting cash and closing each cash drawer in your retail store. If you use more than one register or POS system, you can start closing them, but always wait on the final one until after the last customer exits the building.

  • Final Walkthrough

  • As an owner/manager it is your responsibility to make sure that all the tasks required to properly close your store are completed before heading out. At the end of each night, you should do a full walkthrough of the building before the lights are turned out.

  • You should check the status of key tasks and correct any discrepancies you find. Similarly, windows and doors should be double checked before the lights are extinguished for the night.

  • When Leaving for the Night

  • Just as no one should open a store alone, the finale lockup and setting of the alarm should be a team effort. One person should provide oversight while the other performs all the necessary functions. There is no such thing as being too safety conscious.

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