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Study Finds Dirty Stores Will Lead Customers Out the Door

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(CINCINNATI) -- It could be anything from a dirty bathroom to a smudged window that might lead a customer out of a store, never to return, a new study found on Thursday. The results of a Cintas Corporation survey show that 99 percent of adults in the United States said that any issues of cleanliness in a store with negatively affect their perception of that retailer.

The top issue that would negatively impact a shopper's perception of a store was a dirty bathroom, which 95 percent of people put as their top gripe. Second was an unpleasant odor, and rounding out the top three was poor customer service.

The other items on the list of issues with stores were dirty floors, dirty shopping carts, poor staff appearance, spills or stains, and dirty glass and windows, in that order.

“The retail industry is exceptionally competitive, so retailers must provide a pleasant shopping experience to attract and maintain loyal shoppers,” said Mike Thompson, Senior Vice President, Cintas Facility Services. “This research affirms that maintaining a clean retail environment can significantly impact the success of a retail operation.”

With budget and staffing cutbacks at many retail operations, trying to keep up with cleanliness at a store, let alone customer service and keeping the shelves stocked, may prove to be more and more difficult. Whichever companies can stay the cleanest may have the best shot at retaining a high volume of customers.

“If shoppers are unsatisfied with the cleanliness of a retail store, they will take their business elsewhere,” added Dave Mesko, Senior Director of Marketing with Cintas.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio