When it comes to customer service, convenience and quality, Market Basket Foods — headquartered in Nederland, Texas — is absolutely single-minded: be the best of the best. Walk into any of their 34 locations in Southeast Texas or Southwest Louisiana and you know
immediately that you’re not in a big box store. They’re cleaner. Brighter. Friendlier. If you’re a regular, their associates probably know your name. Because it’s not just about the groceries, it’s about being a good neighbour.
And that’s why you won’t find rental floor mats in a single Market Basket store anymore.
Cross the threshold of any commercial building or retail store and you’ll find a floor mat.
And here’s the reason: over 85% of grime and water enter a building on the soles of their visitors’ shoes. According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), a non-profit agency dedicated to preventing slip-and-fall accidents, serious injuries often happen in entrances, foyers and reception areas when rain, snow, mud and debris are tracked in. Commercial floor mats have long been regarded as the best practice to stop these hazards at the door and prevent slips and falls.
Rental floor mats were part of Market Basket’s floor safety program that also includes wet floor warning cones, spill clean-up procedures, regularly scheduled floor cleaning, employee training and incident documentation. Every store used the mats wherever moisture was a problem — placing them at entrances and in front of the produce and egg cases, ice machine and fresh flower display. But even though they were doing everything right, customer trip-and slip accidents were still a problem.
“When you have shopping carts running across rental mats, they will move thirty feet in the course of the day”, says Mike Rohrbaugh, Market Basket Vice President and Division Manager. “So everybody was constantly bending over and moving them back.”
Liability — delivered weekly.
Once a week, every Market Basket store would get their rental mat delivery and the battle would begin. Some of the mats wouldn’t lay flat. Most of them wouldn’t stay put. They were hard to vacuum and clean around. If they curled on the ends, they became a tripping hazard — and a frustrating, potentially expensive liability.
“For forty years we’d been renting mats. Those mats come rolled up and they’ve got rough edges on them”, adds Rohrbaugh. “People were catching their toes and tripping over them, so we were looking for a better solution.”
ANSI and NFSI set new floor mat standards.
In 2012, The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and NFSI released B101.6-2012
“Standard Guide For Commercial Entrance Matting In Reducing Slips, Trips And Falls” which defines safety regulations pertaining to commercial matting, establishes “the criteria for the selection, installation, inspection, care and maintenance of mats and runners in commercial facilities,” and the requirements “pertaining to the safe usage and applications, design, construction and quality criteria of floor mats and runners.”
The Standard states, “when mats ripple, curl or have torn edges, they are to be removed from service and replaced with mats that lay flat. If a mat buckles, either the condition that caused the mat to buckle shall be corrected or the mat shall be secured or removed from service and replaced.”
B101.6-2012 also makes it clear that the responsibility for selecting and maintaining safe floor mats rests squarely on the facility manager’s shoulders. And although the standard is voluntary, the choice to comply or not to comply can determine the outcome of a slip-and-fall lawsuit: showing you’re in compliance will bolster your legal defence, while failing to comply can be perceived as negligence.
Even with their comprehensive floor safety program, Market Basket still had a glaring problem if they wanted to comply with ANSI/ NFSI B101.6-2012: how could they conform to the standard if they had no control over the quality of their floor mats? There had to be a better way.
Getting a grip on the floor mat problem.
In the fall of 2013, Mike Rohrbaugh spotted an intriguing product called PIG Grippy Floor Mat in the New Pig Leak & Spill catalogue. The description said the product was, “An absorbent mat with a specially formulated, full-coverage adhesive backing that holds tight to the floor, but peels up easily.” And there was an added bonus: it was tested and certified by NFSI as a high-traction walking surface, making it the perfect alternative to rental floor mats.
“I thought it might work,” says Rohrbaugh. “So I called up New Pig and talked to John Boyd. He sent me two six-foot pieces to test out, and I installed those. And it worked so well that I bought a roll. We tested it in one store, then six. Pretty soon, the other 28 managers were calling me so they could be next.”
Replacing their rental mats with PIG Grippy Floor Mat provided immediate and dramatic results for Market Basket. Because of the adhesive backing, the mat laid flat and stayed flat with absolutely no shifting, bunching up flipping over. Slip and trip hazards were virtually eliminated overnight. Associates and managers didn’t need to spend valuable time putting mats back where they belonged. Shopping and stocking carts easily rolled over the mat with no creeping or bunching up under the wheels. Even loaded pallet jacks could roll across without affecting the surface or lifting the adhesive.
Although Grippy Mat is much thinner than standard rental floor mats, its polypropylene construction makes it much more absorbent to keep floors drier — even during a torrential downpour.
“We had six-and-a-half inches of rain recently, and the managers were talking about how dry it stayed inside the stores with this mat,” says Rohrbaugh. “They were flabbergasted. When our shopping carts came back in, they were just dripping wet. The managers were telling the guys to run the carts over the mat and bang the wheels to knock some of the rain off. And they said no water was coming off the end of the mat. So the Grippy Mat was absorbing almost all of the water that would have been tracked into the stores.”
PIG Grippy Floor Mat also proved to be effective at removing dirt and grime. “I put about twelve feet of Grippy Mat in the vestibule at a few of our stores as runoff mat. Next, I’m going to experiment with putting another six feet on the other side of the door. Nothing will get in then — particularly at the stores where there is a high sand content in the soil from the parking lot. When customers walk in, that sandy grime will go into the mat and prevent it from coming into the store and dulling the wax finish on our floor.”
How PIG Grippy Floor Mat pays off at Market Basket.
PIG Grippy Floor Mat eliminates a major trip and fall hazard from the stores.
- No more flipped-up corners, bunched-up ripples, wavy edges or creeping across the floor
- Employees and customers walk on them all day long without a trip, slip or fall incident
PIG Grippy Floor Mat can be cut to fit any area of the store.
- Meat department: fresh chicken display and cutting area
- Produce department: grapes and wet garden area
- Egg case
- Ice machine and water jug refilling station
- Fresh-cut flowers
- Rotisserie chicken
- Entrance to selling floor from storage room
PIG Grippy Floor Mat is easier to maintain than rental mats.
- Easier to clean; won’t lift up when swept or vacuumed
- Durable enough for occasional scrubbing
PIG Grippy Floor Mat delivers better performance and value than rental mats.
- Adheres tightly to the floor and stays put
- Stocking carts, shopping carts and fully loaded pallet jacks roll over it easily with no creeping, shifting or rippling
- Absorbs water much better than rental mats
- Cost break-even attained in 2.5 weeks; annual savings estimated at $120,000
- Litigation expense expected to drop to $0
- Provides a safer, drier, cleaner shopping experience for customers
- Gets enthusiastic buy-in from store managers and associates
“We can cut our PIG Grippy Floor Mat roll to fit any location or shape.”
Since it’s a mere sixteenth of an inch thick, Grippy Mat can be trimmed to a perfect size every time. The ends of the mat butt together seamlessly for a neat appearance wherever it’s used.
“If we nick an end with the floor buffer, we just trim the mat and it looks like new again,” adds Rohrbaugh.
“Grippy Mat saves money and performs better than rental mats.”
Another surprise for Market Basket was Grippy Mat’s outstanding durability. During the initial test, Rohrbaugh and his managers expected ten weeks of use, but it stayed on the job a full sixteen weeks before they decided to change it out — translating into $120,000 in annual cost savings. “Cost-wise, we broke even after only two-and a- half weeks,” says Rohrbaugh. “And the mat is easy to keep clean. We vacuum every night and it doesn’t lift up. We even use our Rug Doctor carpet scrubber on it occasionally.”
A perfect partnership.
At Market Basket, the shopping experience is everything. And PIG Grippy Floor Mat has helped the company take it to the next level. Along with improving floor safety, the switch to Grippy Mat has helped Market Basket create a neater, cleaner, more attractive environment for their customers — all while slashing their floor mat expenses and accident liability.
“PIG Grippy Floor Mat is amazing and continues to be a hit with everyone”, says Mike Rohrbaugh. “It’s holding up better than expected without the adhesive giving way. This was a huge test with close to 3,000 feet rolled out in 34 stores. Grippy Mat is being stomped on and run over by tens of thousands of our associates, vendors and customers per week.
We could not be more pleased with the results.”
Find out more …
If you’d like to find out more about PIG Grippy Floor Mat, or request a sample, our customer service team are more than happy to assist. For all UK & European enquiries please call 0800 919 900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For all other international enquiries please contact our North American office on +1-814-684-0101 or email the team at email@example.com.