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What Do Commercial Retail Cleaning Services Cost?


March 09, 2023     4 minute read

As a multi-site facilities management (FM) professional, you know keeping commercial retail sites looking clean and well maintained is essential to attracting customers and providing top-notch in-store experiences.

But what do commercial retail cleaning services cost, and how do you determine which services are appropriate for your business? Let’s explore the cost of commercial retail cleaning services and some of the primary factors impacting the price tag.

How Cleaning Costs Are Calculated

Commercial retail cleaning services are calculated using various methods. Common approaches include charging by the square foot of cleanable space, by the hour (per service provider or in the aggregate), or a flat fee per cleaning visit or store.

One method isn’t necessarily better than the other, but all costs should be transparent in what they include.

What Do Commercial Retail Cleaning Services Cost?

There are three main components to calculating the total cost of commercial retail cleaning services: 

Labor & Materials

On average, labor and materials can cost $0.11 to $0.12 per square foot of cleanable space or $25 to $50 per hour per provider. However, these are broad estimates, and the actual labor and materials costs can depend on several factors.


Service providers typically include an additional 10 percent to 20 percent to cover overhead expenses, such as general liability insurance to protect clients from property damage or on-the-job injuries, required licensure, marketing, and taxes. 

Subscription or “Tech” Fees

If your cleaning crews are charged a subscription or “tech” fee to access your work order technology platform, chances are they are passing it back to you. This is a relatively conventional practice that will increase the cost of cleaning.


While not always a separate expense, transportation to and from each site can be an additional cost. Be sure to ask if transportation costs are included in any quote you receive.

Factors Impacting Commercial Retail Cleaning Costs

The cost of commercial retail cleaning services can vary depending on several factors. Some of the most common include: 

Number & Location of Stores

Maintaining brand consistency is essential, whether you oversee 50 stores or 500. Often securing a contract for a high volume of stores can drive the unit cost (cleaning cost per store) down. For example, the nominal price for cleaning a fleet of 500 stores may be higher, but the unit cost may be considerably less than for 50. 

However, if a fleet of 500 stores is distributed across the nation versus a fleet of 50 stores located within a smaller region, the unit cost of cleaning a fleet of 500 may increase. Related costs exacerbated by a large distributed fleet一albeit tricky to calculate一can include service quality consistency, local weather impacts, and other disruptions. 

Other variances may have to do with the unique characteristics of a particular market. Cleaning services in urban areas can be more expensive than those in rural areas due to the higher cost of materials and labor.

Store Size

Store size, typically measured by cleanable square footage, is one of the most significant factors affecting the cost of your commercial retail cleaning services. Larger stores require more time and resources to clean, which can increase costs.

Cleaning Frequency

Cleaning frequency is also a critical factor in determining the cost of cleaning services. Retail stores with high foot traffic and commonly touched surfaces一such as glass countertops, dressing room doors, locks, or metal restroom fixtures一require frequent cleaning. Or if a store is near a food court, that increases the probability of dropped food, spilled drinks, and litter to clean up.

Commercial retail cleaning services are generally provided daily, weekly, or monthly, with daily cleaning being the most expensive option.

Scheduled vs. Unscheduled Service

When providers are dispatched for unscheduled service visits, costs usually increase. Unscheduled visits can cost more due to services provided during non-business hours (which for commercial retail cleaning services can mean during regular business hours), emergency callout status, or unforeseen overtime required.

Specific Cleaning Services & Products

Different cleaning services have varying costs. Basic cleaning services, such as vacuuming, mopping, or dusting, are often more affordable than specialized services requiring higher-skilled or more experienced technicians, such as window cleaning, floor maintenance, and hygienic cleaning.

In addition, better quality cleaning equipment and productsーthink environmentally friendly cleaning solutionsーwill also typically cost more.

What Else Should You Consider?

When choosing a commercial retail cleaning service provider, it's important to consider the costーand equallyーthe service quality, reliability, and reputation of possible candidates. By taking the time to research and compare different commercial retail cleaning service providers, you can find the right service for your needs and budget.

At NEST, we use negotiated pricing and service level agreements (SLAs) to eliminate many variables impacting the cost of commercial retail cleaning services. Our national Independent Service Provider (ISP) network includes more than 27,000 fully vetted and compliant members trained to meet or exceed your brand standards every time. 

Contracted rates eliminate added costs for overtime, emergency, or off-hours callouts, which makes budgeting and forecasting more accurate and much more manageable.

And NEST doesn’t charge users of its Integrated Facilities Management (IFM) technology platform subscription or tech fees of any kind! 

Contact a NEST representative to learn more about our industry-leading Independent Service Provider (ISP) network and how we can help you better manage the cost of commercial retail cleaning services for your stores today.

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