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Study Reveals that 93 Percent of U.S. Adults Would Avoid a Store with Facility Flaws

Bad odors, dirty restrooms and overall facility cleanliness cited as top factors for a lack of repeat business

CINCINNATI – [May 3, 2016] –  As online shopping continues to dominate brick-and-mortar retail sales, it’s more important than ever for retailers to make sure their stores are doing everything in their power to retain customers.[1] A new survey commissioned by Cintas Corporation (NASDAQ: CTAS) and conducted by Harris Poll identifies common issues that would keep shoppers away from retail establishments. Conducted online by among 2,082 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, the study found that 93 percent of U.S. adults would not return to a retailer if they experienced some type of issue related to the facility.


“Today’s consumer has an almost unlimited choice when deciding where to shop, whether it’s another store across the street or online,” said John Engel, Senior Marketing Manager, Cintas. “With this type of competition, retailers need to understand why their customers return, and more importantly, why they don’t. It is imperative for retailers to ensure that their employees and brick-and-mortar stores are READY™ to tackle store-related issues to keep customers returning.”


The top five factors that would turn patrons away from a retail store include:


  • General bad odor - 78 percent
  • Dirty restrooms (e.g., floors, stalls, mirrors, odor) - 66 percent
  • Dirty surfaces (e.g., dust on displays, dust bunnies on floors) - 65 percent
  • Entryway cleanliness (e.g., cigarette butts, overflowing trash cans, unkempt appearance) - 60 percent
  • Dressing room conditions (e.g., dirty mirrors, dirty floors, broken locks, lighting issues) - 56 percent


Consumers also cited broken or cracked glass (53 percent), plumbing issues (e.g., toilets and/or sinks not working) (52 percent), slippery floors (e.g., wetness, dirt/dust) (52 percent), noise (e.g., loud music, loud employees, phones ringing) (43 percent), lighting issues (e.g., light fixtures out, not working properly, poor lighting) (40 percent) and temperature (e.g., too hot/too cold) (30 percent) as factors that would influence them in choosing to not return to a retail store.


The study also found that gender plays a role in which factors influence a customer to avoid a retail facility. Women are less likely to return to a facility with poor dressing room conditions (65 percent) than males (47 percent). Conversely, males (33 percent) consider temperature more strongly than women (27) percent when deciding to return to a store.


Baby boomers prefer to purchase an item in the store, versus online, so it’s important to note that the data revealed that older Americans, ages 65 and above, are the most likely to say that experiencing these facility issues would influence their decision to return to a retail store (98 percent vs. 92 percent ages, 18-64).[2]  


For more information about Cintas’ solutions for retailers, please visit www.cintas.com/managedsolutions.


Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Cintas Corporation from Feb. 25 – 29, 2016 among 2,082 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Christina Alvarez at calvarez@mulberrymc.com

About Cintas Corporation:

Cintas Corporation helps more than 900,000 businesses of all types and sizes get Ready™ to open their doors with confidence every day by providing a wide range of products and services that enhance our customers’ image and help keep their facilities and employees clean, safe and looking their best.  With products and services including uniforms, floor care, restroom supplies, first aid and safety products, fire extinguishers and testing, and safety and compliance training, Cintas helps customers get Ready for the Workday™. Headquartered in Cincinnati, Cintas is a publicly held company traded over the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol CTAS and is a component of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.