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Mats for the Retail Industry - A Buyer's Guide

Many industries have their own set of unique requirements when it comes to choosing the right matting and the retail industry is no exception. These are often very busy environments with a high footfall.

Shops need to look good, in order to create a good impression on their visitors, and they need to keep their staff comfortable and therefore more productive.

Shops and stores also need to ensure they’re not flouting any regulations when it comes to selecting the right matting, which many stores will be doing, albeit unknowingly. Our guide below reveals all.

The uses of and benefits of Retail matting

  • Stop dirt and water coming in from the outside
  • Stop slips and accidents in and around the store
  • Improve the look and appearance of your store
  • Used to convey sales and safety messaging
  • Prevent problems caused by staff standing on hard floors all day, including muscle fatigue, stiffness and poor circulation leading to absenteeism
  • Reduce energy consumption and improve the productivity of workers
  • Comply with law and industry regulations

Our guide will help you to select the correct matting for your shop, store or retail unit and ensure you receive the maximum benefit from your choice.

 

Entrances

After the shop window, this is the first thing the customer will see when entering the store. How inviting your shop or store entrance looks will have a big say on whether a potential customer walks through the door, or turns around and heads to one of your competitors instead. It’s all about creating the right first impression.

“91% of shoppers select a store to shop in based on its appearance.” (source: Progressive Grocer)

A good looking entrance mat, or entrance mat system, which keeps your floors clean from mud and water, is a requisite. You can read more about the best entrance mats to buy in one of our blogs here.

Go one better and have a great looking logo mat. A mat bearing your stores brand, with the words ‘Welcome to’ above it, will let customers know that you’re proud of your identity and also your store’s appearance. This will make your customers feel they’re shopping in a store that oozes class.

Mat Recommendations: Waterhog Entrance mats, Superscrape, Tri Grip Heavy Duty, Logo mats

Attractive Logo mat

An attractive logo mat can add a touch of class to a retail environment

 

Keep on the right side of regulations

Retailers should familiarise themselves with both the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA), the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 (DDA 2005) and part M of the Building Regulations when it comes to the furnishing, designing and building of their shop or store. It is unlawful for service providers to treat a disabled customer or service user less favourably.

The furnishing of a store includes the mats which are put in place in and around the store. All mats must allow easy wheelchair passage and also ease of means of escape. Try to avoid coir (coconut matting), deep pile or excessively grooved surfaces. Highly patterned mats can be visually confusing to certain individuals too.

Mat Recommendations: Waterhog Classic, Waterhog Eco Entrance Mats

 

 

Areas at risk of spillages and slip hazards

Spillage risks will depend on the type of store and the products or service which are on offer, but some examples of such areas at risk are as follows:

  • Where liquids can be knocked off the shelves:
    • Drinks, chemicals, grease, oils
  • Where unpackaged goods can fall to the floor
    • Fruit & Veg, Confectionary, Flowers
  • Meat & Dairy Produce areas
  • Point of Sale displays
  • Vending machine areas
  • Catering / food service areas


Mats to stop spillages

Mats placed in areas at risk of spillage will help prevent slips and falls

The strategic placement of matting to soak up and contain spillages and mats that provide good traction is advisable. Slip and fall accidents cost retailers millions of pounds each year from litigation claims and injuries to their own staff, leading to sickness and absenteeism. Don’t take the risk and be proactive. Anything which can stop spillages and slips occurring, should be considered good business.

Many slips can occur because of what’s been brought in from the outside. All stores should have adequate entrance matting that removes mud and water from the traffic which passes over it, in order to minimise the potential for slippages further in and around the store. The mats need to remove and store the dirt and water until it can be cleaned off at a later time. Inclement weather increases the amount of dirt and water being brought through an entrance substantially, so retailers need to ensure the entrance mats are of good enough quality to cope.

Good entrance matting will also help to reduce cleaning costs too. See our article on how to save a fortune on cleaning costs with entrance matting here.

Mat Recommendations: Tri Grip Heavy Duty, Superscrape, Comfort Flow

Mat for shops entrance

Remove dirt and water with effective matting at the entrance to help prevent slips further in the store and reduce cleaning costs


Cashier desks and customer services desks

Cashier desks and customer services desks

In areas where staff have to stand or walk around in the same place all day, the placement of Anti-Fatigue mats can be of great benefit. These mats alleviate stress on the body of those who stand on them, by encouraging subtle movement of the joints which helps blood circulate around the body.

Use a single, fixed sized Anti Fatigue mat for areas where people are standing. For larger or irregular shaped areas, use a larger runner or Anti Fatigue mat tiles.

The use of Anti Fatigue mats has been shown to reduce employee fatigue by as much as 50%, in comparison to working on a hard floor.

See our article on How do good Anti Fatigue Mats help.

Mat Recommendations: Hog Heaven, Happy Feet

 

 Comfortable Anti Fatigue Mat


 

Warehousing and storage

There will be many areas where workers have to work in the same area on cold, hard floors all day. Anti Fatigue mats will reap the same benefits as explained in the point above. Storage areas are liable to spillage and so the placement of non slip and cushioned mats, to help prevent breakages, will be of benefit too.

Forklift trucks, which have to transport goods from outside to inside the warehouse, also bring in a lot of dirt and water into the warehouse too. Matting designed to cope with the weight of forklifts and remove the dirt and water off forklift truck tyres is discussed in our article here.

Mat Recommendation: Waterhog Roll Goods

 

 Forklift Truck Mats

 

Mats to cope with heavy trollies

In retail environments where shopping trollies are used, the matting will be required to cope with the weight of a trolley filled with goods, but the matting also needs to be safe and easy for the trolley to travel over.

It is important that the mats you choose will not move around, which can be a problem with lightweight, vinyl backed mats.

The mats need to be durable enough to cope with the many wheels and the weight travelling over them, so they should not be liable to split at the edges or crush down.

The edges should be bevelled, which will allow the wheels to safely and smoothly travel onto, over and off the other side of the mat.

The best mats to choose for where shopping trollies are used will have a thick rubber base, which is durable, has good weight to it and will not be liable to slip on tiled floors, which many shops with trollies will tend to have.

Mat Recommendations: Supermarket mats, Waterhog Entrance mats

 Supermarket Mats for Trollies


POS Advertising

You can have any message or image you wish printed onto a logo mat. So why not take advantage of the floor as an advertising medium, an often under-utilised space which does not suffer from promotional clutter like normal signage does? You could have a message advertising the latest in store promotion, you could print a brand on a mat to help customers locate the goods and make them really stand out, or you could print your store’s USP’s to help the customer’s decision to purchase?

Point of sale Logo mats 

Message mats

It’s not all about marketing messages however, mats can also be used for important safety messages or for conveying instructions, such as highlighting where a fire exit door is located or to remind your warehouse staff of the need to wear hard hats in a certain area for example. The list of uses for message and logo mats is endless.

Mat Recommendations: Logo mats, Superscrape Impressions, Signature mats

 Fire Exit Message Mats

Need more advice?

At Mats4U we have been supplying matting to shops, stores, retail businesses and individuals throughout the UK for over 20 years. We have mats which are specifically designed to cope with the demands of the retail environment.

We have a handy mat placement guide for shops and stores which can be found on the Mats4U website here.

Our aim is to ensure that you have the right mats for your individual needs. If you want more advice on choosing the correct matting for your particular situation then you can call our customer services team on 0121 351 4444 who will be more than happy to help.

We also have a team of experts around the country who are willing to visit you on your premises to observe the problems you have and will suggest the right matting to help you overcome them. We call this our Mat Audit Service and through Mats4U this is a free service, with no obligation to buy on your part. To request this service, click on the banner below and fill out a simple form, after which we will be in contact with you to arrange a suitable date and time to meet.

Request a mat audit

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