During the coronavirus pandemic, supermarkets, groceries, and retail stores have added a variety of features to ensure safety. Staff and customers have been required to wear masks, temperature sensors have become available at the entrance and exit of the facility, and some stores require customers to present proof of vaccination. Indeed, these protocols are effective, but most have yet to tackle what could be another essential requirement to ensure health and safety: indoor air quality. 

Factors affecting air quality in retail shops: 

  • The high volume of people exhaling carbon dioxide inside the store
  • Building materials, paints, and floor tiles that may contain formaldehyde, VOCs, and particulate matter. 
  • Particulate matter brought by outside air. 
  • Unregulated levels of humidity and temperature

Ways to improve indoor air quality in retail shops

Conduct routine cleaning – make sure to mop the floors, clean surfaces, and wipe grocery shelves, racks, and objects that people have frequent contact with. Doing this will help minimize the spread of germs and viruses. 

Use UV lights – Ultraviolet lights or UV lights can damage the DNA structure of microorganisms. It has been proven to reduce the specific bacteria, viruses, and fungi’s ability to multiply and survive. 

Install air purifiers – air purifiers are devices that remove air contaminants within a facility. These devices can help lighten allergens suspended in the air, relieve symptoms of respiratory illnesses, and  decrease the chances of infectious viruses to survive. 

Use indoor air quality monitors – indoor air quality monitors are devices that measure the presence and levels of the factors affecting indoor air quality including temperature, humidity, air pressure, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and more. By having the right measurements on these factors, shop owners and employees can establish ways to adjust their indoor air based on their facility’s needs. Indoor air quality monitors can also be a way to determine if the technologies and strategies adopted such as the installation of purifiers and UV lights are effective. 

While mask-wearing and social distancing policies will remain with us for some time, it will also be important for retail owners to perform upgrades and innovations to enable outstanding shopping experience to customers and nurture the wellbeing of their employees. 



  1. Chainstoreage.com
  2. Retail-focus.co.uk
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