Whether you are a thrift store, consignment store or vintage retailer, you have a wide range of duties across several departments. From receiving and approving donations, sorting, pricing and finally merchandising items, using a Checklist for Thrift Stores will improve the performance of your operations…and your bottom line.
Use this sample Checklist for Thrift Stores as a guide to start or update your store inspection program.
- Parking lot is free of trash, cracks and potholes?
- Sidewalk is clean, swept/shoveled and in good repair?
- Exterior signs clean and in working order?
- Landscaping, if applicable is maintained?
- Window signage is up to date with current promotions?
- Exterior entrance, parking lot and donation point adequately lit?
- The donation point is well signed and easily accessible?
- There is additional parking available nearby should the drive-in point be full?
- Is the drive-in point secured when not in use?
- Are donation bins and surrounding area free of an overflow of donations?
- Are floors/rugs clean?
- Shopping baskets/carts are available?
- Is lighting adequate with no burnt out bulbs?
- Clothing is hung in an orderly fashion on racks?
- Are items merchandised within their specific departments?
- Are clothing items grouped and labeled by size?
- The floor is kept clean of clothing and accessories?
- Are accessories organized in an orderly fashion on racks and shelves?
- Household items are organized in an orderly fashion?
- Is the floor free of any slip or trip hazards?
- Walkways and aisles are kept clear?
- Are jewelry and smaller items merchandised cleanly and near the cash wrap?
- All product has a price and colour/date tag? Check 3 items
- Products are cleaned and sanitized upon intake?
- Are product sorted by category upon intake?
- All products possess tags in line with the company colour/date organization system?
- Do employees know how to handle untagged product on the sales floor?
- Unsold or unsellable product stored/discarded/repackaged and shipped out as per company directives?
- Unsellable product is properly marked? Check 3 items.
- Is there a designated area for the unsellable product?
- Unsellable product is logged to discourage employee theft?
- Is there a designated section for new arrivals?
- Current promotional signage is in line with the company directive?
- Seasonal product is current and merchandised in high traffic areas?
- Location has a designated “new arrivals” section that is refreshed daily?
- Does location have a “buy today – get a discount!” product section?
- Is product cross-merchandising deployed at end caps and feature areas?
Customer and Donor Engagement/Experience
- Are customers greeted upon entry?
- Do you have a positive first impression of the store?
- Is fragrance of store pleasant?
- Consignment log is up to date, if applicable?
- Sales floor employees are knowledgeable and helpful?
- How is the relationship with consigners managed?
- Are employees at donation points friendly and helpful?
- Is promotional signage clear?
- Are informational flyers on donations available?
- Are staff restricted from performing self or family purchases?
- Do staff understand how to handle damaged or defective products? Ask 3.
- Have employees been trained on how to intake donations?
- Is product priced by a manager or specifically appointed employee?
- Employees have been trained on how to tag and merchandise product?
- Have backroom employees been trained on the use of equipment such as bailers or lifts, if applicable?
- When was the last date of employee safety training?
Safety and Loss Prevention
- There is adequate interior lighting for work and customer interactions?
- Does location have backup power in the event of a power outage?
- Ladders or step stools for staff in good condition?
- Ladders or step stools properly put away when not in use by staff?
- Shelving is in good condition?
- There are no protruding or sharp corners that may cause injury?
- Do all electrical outlets have covers?
- Waste removal is done at regular intervals?
- Backroom free from sharp edges/corners that may cause injury?
- Storage shelves are in good condition and not overloaded?
- Is the back door/loading area locked at all times?
- There is a peephole or some means to see who is outside the door?
- Staff know and adhere to the procedure for opening back door/loading area?
- Cleaning equipment stored safely in a designated area?
- Up to date health and safety poster for province/state visible?
- Workplace violence and harassment poster for province/state is visible and up to date?
- Breakroom is clean and free of clutter?
- Office is clean and free of clutter?
- There is a safe place for the storage of valuables?
- Office furniture and equipment is in good condition?
- Electrical and extension cords are not a trip hazard?
- Are electrical and extension cords in good condition?
- Do all electrical outlets have covers?
- Is the washroom clean and free of clutter?
- Hand soap or hand sanitizer is available?
Special thanks to Goodwill Northern New England for their contributions to this piece.
More ways to improve your operations, loss prevention and merchandising:
- 7 Visual Merchandising Techniques to Increase Sales
- 3 Types of Audits Every Retailer Should Conduct
- Loss Prevention Checklist