How to choose the best anti-fatigue and slip-resistant shop floor mats for retail
Specifying slip-resistant entrance matting for a brand new retail fit-out? Are your current anti-fatigue flooring mats in need of an upgrade? If you work in retail, you know how important it is to choose fittings and finishes that not only keep your employees and visitors safe but look stylish too. Keep reading for our sales team’s top shop floor mat recommendations for retailers.
As matting specialists with over 50 years’ experience, we’ve been involved in finding solutions for a huge range of matting for commercial shop flooring, from small retail outlets to large supermarket chains and department stores.
The retail environment has diverse safety matting needs, including anti-fatigue mats for areas where employees spend hours on their feet, shop entrance mats to help keep dirt and moisture from becoming a safety hazard, and retail flooring to protect internal floor finishings and reduce cleaning costs.
Head here for part two of this series: How to choose the best mats for cold rooms, wet areas and shelving protection mats for retail.
Shop entrance mats for high traffic entrance ways
In a busy shopping centre or store, thousands of customers can visit in a single day, each trekking in a collection of dirt and debris. Without a high performance shop entrance mat, dirt and debris can create safety hazards and cause a bad customer experience. No one likes to see a dirty shop floor or push a supermarket trolley with wheels clogged with debris.
An entrance mat is also so much more than a place for people to walk over before entering your store. It contributes to meeting health and safety standards, and the opportunity for additional branding shouldn’t be undervalued.
When looking for retail shop entrance mats, here’s what you need to consider:
Do customers enter the store from the high street or outdoors (like a park or natural environment)? Do they have to walk through a parking area before coming inside?
Factor this when choosing or deciding on which entrance mat to ensure as little dirt and grime as possible gets walked inside. In addition to an interior entrance mat, you may also need a heavy-duty exterior system to scrape and clean dirt, water and debris from visitors' heels and wheels to prevent it getting trekked all over your shop floor.
Look for shop entrance mats with an open grid for excellent drainage, so that any dirt and debris quickly falls away, and a deep-etched surface for superior traction underfoot. This winning combination will ensure the shop entrance mat scrapes shoes and wheels clean, stops dirt in its tracks, and helps prevent slips and falls.
2. Durability & fit-for-purpose
Over the course of a year, how many customers are expected to enter the store? Foot traffic really adds up, and durability is key – as is ensuring the building entrance meets health and safety standards.
A budget entrance matting option may need to be replaced sooner, and entrance matting that comes in tiles have a greater tendency to break (as there are more connection points) so look for entrance systems that come in rolls.
It’s also worthwhile to check what maintenance (and special tools, if any) is needed to clean the entrance mat before you make a selection. Choose shop entrance matting that can be easily lifted or rolled for an option that makes maintenance a breeze.
Most retail environments get a considerable amount of wheeled traffic (prams, wheelchairs, sack trucks) so make sure you choose a mat that’s specifically designed to be wheel-proof and heel-proof.
3. Customisation & installation requirements
Does the entrance have an existing mat well? Are there any architectural constraints to factor into the installation, such as pillars, sliding doors, or security detectors?
Some entrance mats need to be custom manufactured for size, adding significant extra expense and time to an order (avoid this if you can!).
This was a key consideration for Selfridges when they chose Frontrunner Plus for the entrances of their Birmingham and Manchester department stores. Frontrunner Plus can be quickly cut to fit any shape, such as within revolving doors, inside mat wells or over irregularly shaped areas. This was a huge benefit for Selfridges, because the matting needed to be cut to fit around several irregularly shaped columns – and the whole installation process had to happen during the store's closing hours.
For interior entrance matting, consider: Frontrunner Plus
Has absorbent carpet inserts to remove and dry moisture
Aggressive tread pattern scrapes shoes and wheels clean, and open grid traps and collects dirt and debris
Helps to reduce cleaning intervals and keeps interiors looking stylish for longer
Can be quickly cut to fit on site, and installed recessed or surface-mounted
Over 50 colour and style combinations available for bespoke branding, as well as the option to add a logo panel
Certified slip resistant, wheel-proof and heel-proof, making it ideal for shopping centres and stores with high traffic
Made from PVC, so doesn't interfere with security detectors
For exterior entrance matting, consider: Frontrunner XT
An extra slip resistant indoor and outdoor entrance floor mat with a deep-etched tread that scrapes shoes and wheels clean
Wheel-proof, heel-proof, and certified slip resistant, making it an excellent choice for high-traffic entrances with frequent trolley use
Easy to cut to size on-site with no special tools required, and can be installed surface-mounted or recessed seamlessly into the subfloor
Designed for quick installation, even in non-conventional shaped entrances
Extremely easy to clean: simply roll and lift, with no special cleaning tools needed
Available in a wide range of colours to match branding and enhance the aesthetics of the entrance
Anti-fatigue mats for service staff
Retail staff, particularly those working behind service counters and at cash registers, spend hours on their feet. This can be detrimental for circulation, as well as contribute to fatigue and discomfort. Fortunately, installing high-quality anti-fatigue matting in areas where employees spend lots of time on their feet can help reduce fatigue, aid concentration and boost productivity.
When looking for anti-fatigue flooring mats, here’s what you need to consider:
Generally speaking, anti-fatigue mats are behind service counters and cash registers, however depending on the environment, consider if any additional functionality is needed. You may need matting with extra slip resistance and drainage in areas with frequent spills or water, like a fishmongers counter or floristry preparation area, or noise absorption for spaces where equipment is frequently dropped onto shop floor mats.
2. Durability & fit-for-purpose
For checkout and other service areas, look for an anti-fatigue mat made from high molecular density foam. This construction means the mat will bounce back for extra comfort and the cushioning won’t deaden over time, even when staff stand in place for prolonged periods.
3. Customisation & installation requirements
If you need to install anti-fatigue flooring mats in all service zones, look for shop floor mats that are quick to install and easy to clean. You want to choose an anti-fatigue mat that can be cut to fit on site and contours to uneven surfaces.
For anti-fatigue matting, consider: Zed Land
Can be used as a shop floor mat in every retail zone, from service and checkout counters, to security check areas
Effectively reduces the impact of noise
Provides good slip resistance, thanks to the embossed pebble surface
Features certified wear resistance, which means there’s minimal wear to the foam
Patented foam construction reduces standing fatigue and boosts worker productivity
Easy to clean (simply roll and lift) without special cleaning tools
Comes in rolls or modules for quick installation with no special tools needed
Easy to cut to size and shape on site, so there's no need for extensive design visits to site before ordering, and minimal time needed for installation
As always, our expert team is happy to help you select the best mat for your needs. The shop floor mats for entrances and anti-fatigue mats for service staff that we’ve recommended in this article are the ones most often chosen by our distributors and customers but if you need a helping hand, get in touch with us here.