Retailers Tap Crime-Scene Techs for Deep Cleans

Coronavirus forces companies to call in the pros to disinfect some retail locations. 

May 13, 2020

CHICAGO—The expertise of crime-scene cleaning companies has been in high demand at retail locations eager to have the surfaces and floors expunged of coronavirus droplets, the Wall Street Journal reports. “We are doing touch point disinfecting 12 times a day, then again overnight,” at some stores, said Mark Minasian, CEO of Kellermeyer Bergensons Services, which manages cleaning for Marriott, Target and Amazon.com.

Because the deep cleaning and disinfection needed to kill the coronavirus has taxed retailers, some have been turning to specialized cleaning services like those who clean up crime scenes. “More retailers are asking staff to clean during the day when shoppers can witness the event” to assist with public and employee perception, said Tom Buiocchi, CEO of ServiceChannel Inc., which connects merchants with facilities maintenance and cleaning companies.

For smaller retailers, this extra cleaning and use of specific disinfectants has been bewildering, but that’s why they’re turning to experts. “We have never thought about what disinfectants our cleaning companies were using,” said Fokke de Jong, CEO of Suitsupply, which has 46 locations in North America. “We were just looking at, ‘Is it clean and does it smell nice?’”

For Spaulding Decon, a crime-scene and disaster-restoration cleanup firm, business has been booming. CEO Laura Spaulding said the franchisees have been hiring more workers to keep up with demand because of the coronavirus. Disinfecting because of a virus constituted about 5% of its business pre-COVID-19. In March, that soared to 90%, although demand has slowed recently with more retailers inquiring about preventive measures, rather than virus disinfection.

Coronavirus Resources

NACS has compiled resources to help the convenience retail community navigate the COVID-19 crisis. For news updates and guidance, visit our coronavirus resources page.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement