Retail Store Daily Checklist: What to Do Before Opening Your Retail Shop

Here’s something to think about: success isn’t necessarily a result of one bold step or huge event. Success is a product of small actions that you repeatedly do overtime. Most of these actions can be considered small or just basic best practices — but if you do them consistently, those actions compound and lead to better outcomes down the road. 

As James Clear, the author of the Atomic Habits wrote:

All big things come from small beginnings. The seed of every habit is a single, tiny decision. But as that decision is repeated, a habit sprouts and grows stronger.

So what does this all have to do with retail?

In the same way that good personal habits lead to a better and happier life, forming good habits in your retail store will lead to a stronger and more profitable business. 

There are a number of things you should perform in your store daily to keep it humming and on track. 

That’s why we’ve put together a retail store daily checklist of tasks that you should be doing. Have a look and see if you can incorporate them into your retail habits. 

The retail store manager and employee daily opening checklist

The following are some of the tasks that retailers should perform at the beginning of their workday. While most of these items are for store managers, a lot of them can be completed by sales associates and cashiers. 

Retail store daily opening checklist

Setting up your store for success starts with opening it properly. Don’t forget to take the following steps before opening your doors to the public.

Do a security inspection. Inspect the building for signs of anything that may have gone wrong while your store was closed. Conduct the following steps:

  • Inspect the exterior of the building.
  • Inspect windows and doors for signs of forced entry.
  • Check that the alarm is working properly, then disarm your security system when you enter the store.
  • Review security footage if necessary. 
  • Keep your doors locked until you’re open for business.

Perform daily housekeeping. See to it that your store is nice and presentable when people start coming in. 

  • Shine your windows. 
  • Do a quick sweep of the shop floor to clear dirt and dust. 
  • Keep an eye out for spillage or anything that may be considered a safety hazard (things on the floor, stuff hanging from the ceiling, etc.)
  • Inspect and clean your fitting room and other areas frequented by shoppers.

Turn on electronics and other appliances. You can choose to do this until right before you’re officially open for the day. Make sure that switch on the following before shoppers start coming in:

  • HVAC.
  • Electronic displays.
  • TV and sound system.
  • Computers, tablets, and other gadgets. 

POS checklist

Once you’re done with the initial inspection, you can move on to your point of sale system. 

Turn on POS equipment. Switch on your POS hardware and make sure they’re working properly. You could also use this as an opportunity to do a POS security check by inspecting your equipment for signs of tampering. 

Launch your POS software. Turn on your POS software and ensure it’s working properly. 

Enter your daily cash float. Place your cash float into the register and enter the amount into your POS. 

Merchandising

Asian woman shopping choosing fashion dress shop window

Next up, let’s look at your merchandising. The quality of the products and displays you have on the sales floor directly influence your sales, so it’s essential that you go over your merchandising daily. 

Check that all displays are in order. Examine all the display you have in-store and see to it that they’re up to snuff. Ask the following questions:

  • Are the products arranged properly? 
  • Do your displays comply with your planogram? 
  • Is there anything missing from the shelves? 

Restock shelves if necessary. If there are items that are missing from your displays, be sure to restock your shelves before opening time.

Physically count your products if necessary. Depending on your inventory management practices, it may be necessary to do a quick inventory count. Daily stock-taking typically comes in the form of cycle counting, a method that involves counting a small amount of merchandise every day. 

Vend Tip

Want to make inventory counts easier for yourself and your staff? Check out Scanner by Vend, a nifty mobile app that lets you conduct physical inventory counts using your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.

Just scan an item’s barcode using your phone’s camera and Scanner will automatically record the SKU for you. Scanner also syncs completed counts with your Vend account, so once you’re done counting, you can easily update your stock levels. 

Not a Vend user? Scanner will create a CSV file that you can easily email to you and your staff. 

Learn More

Ensure that promotional and directional signage are set up properly. Retail signs can also influence the customer experience, so make sure that your signs are in order. The following questions may help:

  • Do you have signage for any current promotions that you’re running? 
  • If you have directional signage, are they pointing the right way? 
  • Are all signs in their proper places?

Ensure that product tags are in order. Tags are a small but significant detail that can greatly help (or hinder) the sales experience of your customers. So, don’t forget to inspect the following:

  • Size tags
  • Price tags
  • Sales pricing tags
  • Special promotional tags

Staffing and strategy

Round up your team and do a daily staff huddle to motivate everyone and give them the information they need to do their jobs well for the day. 

Review shifts and duties. Iron out who’s in charge and what. What are everyone’s roles? Where should they station themselves in the store?

Review sales targets. Keeping sales top of mind will help drive your team’s performance. In this regard, you should talk about:

  • Your sales target for the day/week/month.
  • For the weekly and monthly targets, how close are you to reaching it? What can do you do to move things forward?
  • What can each team member do for that day to drive more sales?

Vend Tip


Are you a Vend retailer? You can use the software to set sales goals for each user, and then make those targets visible on their home screen.

Learn More

Review your team’s and store’s performance. Your staff huddle also provides a great opportunity to discuss how you and your team can improve overall. You may want to discuss:

  • Things that went wrong/right the previous day, and what the staff can do today to improve.
  • Bring up notable customer interactions or events from the previous day and discuss the things that went right or wrong. Could the situation have been handled differently? How so?

Review the promotions that you have going on. Finally, if you’re running any in-store initiatives now is the time to talk about them.

  • Discuss the sales or offers that you have in-store. 
  • Talk about the best ways to increase awareness around your promotions or offers. 

Put this retail store daily checklist to good use. 

Retail success starts with strong habits performed by managers, associates, and cashiers. Hopefully, the points above inspired you to implement better daily practices in your shop.

About Francesca Nicasio

Francesca Nicasio is Vend's Retail Expert and Content Strategist. She writes about trends, tips, and other cool things that enable retailers to increase sales, serve customers better, and be more awesome overall. She's also the author of Retail Survival of the Fittest, a free eBook to help retailers future-proof their stores. Connect with her on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Google+.