What’s The Best Temperature for Retail Environments?
According to the HSE (Health & Safety Executive), it is recommended that your workplace should be at a MINIMUM of 16 degrees celsius or 13 degrees if the work is more physical. However retail environments recommendations have more factors to consider. For one, many employees are more active, be it standing or walking around in a shop, than those in an office environment. Depending on the shop, factors such as drafts from open doors, high ceilings and the amount of open space can have an effect on the temperature. Crowded shops can have a tendency to create excess heat which creates a stuffy, uncomfortable environment for customers and can greatly affect their shopping experience.
Positive environmental conditions in retail
Studies have shown that approximately 85% of people prefer to shop in a brick and mortar shop compared to online. Considering the increase in mobile and online shopping, it’s important for retail shops to ensure they are providing the most welcoming experience for those shoppers. Shops being too stuffy and warm, particularly in clothing stores, is one of the biggest turn offs for consumers. If they find your shop uncomfortable, they’ll spend less time looking around and will likely not use the change rooms.
Temperature will change based on seasons, but for the most part, it’s best to keep retail shops lower in temperature to take into consideration customers wearing coats/layers and coming in from outside.
Also consider your employees. Do they have to wear uniforms? Will these uniforms be adaptable to various temperature changes (ie: will they be able to add a sweater, remove a layer, etc). If they are able to adapt to the chance of varying temperature (more people in shop = warmer), they will likely be far more productive more of the time as they won’t be worried about their comfort and can focus on the work to be done.
Retail temperature recommendations
Due to the nature of the various sizes and setups of retail shops, there are also various options for heating.
An overhead heater to be mounted over the front door will give a burst of warming air as one enters the shop to welcome them, with the ambient room temperature to be maintained with ceiling-mounted heaters. These will work best in retail, as floor/wall space can be at a premium. They will also ensure that air keeps moving so the shops don’t become stale or too humid on wet days.
If condensation is a problem on glass displays/windows then additional heating, such as fan heaters or trench heating, can be installed to counteract the issue.
It may seem like an unachievable task to find a suitable workplace temperature to suit everyone but knowing there are steps you can take to do just that is comforting. Ensuring you have the correct and most efficient heating equipment installed, and have taken into consideration your employees’ preferences and needs are the first hurdles to providing an environment for your business to be productive and successful.