What is a Retail Audit?

A retail audit allows retail and hospitality brands to execute brand standards, programs, and policies in areas such as operations, merchandising, loss prevention, health and safety and security across all stores, on time and in full. The audit is sometimes called an assessment or simply a visit.

The audit uses retail audit software, an actionable form with best-practice pictures, photos, videos, supporting files, signatures, conditional logic, critical items and action plan recommendations.

Corrective actions

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Retail audits let retail operators assign corrective actions and resolve issues before they damage their reputation and bottom line. This is often called the action plan.

Corrective actions ensure that deficiencies are promptly addressed and that brand standards, programs and policies are executed in full, on time, at every location.

🚀 Expert

This post is part of our Expert Content series. In highly competitive industries like retail and hospitality, it is critical to hit the ground running with flawless execution of programs and brand standards.
When issues are found, assign corrective actions to ensure they are resolved before they affect the guest experience, the brand’s reputation, and the bottom line.

Brand standards

Retail audits promote higher overall compliance with brand standards at the store level.

By committing resources to brand standards, the operator demonstrates that compliance is a priority for the brand, for the customer experience, for the health and safety of customers and staff and for the financial performance of each and every location.

Note that retail audits differ from mystery shopping. They address different needs and have vastly different outcomes.

priorities and engagement

Completing the audit helps district managers and brand representatives reinforce brand standards, policies and guidelines to franchisees and store management.

Retail audits are not a passive activity. They give head office and district managers the opportunity to engage with store management and employees, listen to feedback, and offer help and resources.

How to build a retail audit checklist

Now that we have discussed what it is, we want to help you build a retail audit checklist. Please refer to our How to build a retail audit checklist.

Retail Audit Checklists

If you are looking for checklists to manage your operations and brand standards, you have two options.

  1. Register for a free trial of Bindy and get access to a library of professionally vetted public forms you can use to audit your locations in seconds.
  2. Refer to our checklists category of more than 33 checklists to manage every aspect of your operations.

The definitive guide to retail audits 

Do you want to take this to the next level? Our Retail Audits – The Definitive Guide is our most comprehensive collection of information about retail audits including why, who, when and how to conduct retail audits. Built by retail professionals for retail professionals.

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Refer to the Retail Audits and Inspections category for how-tos and best practices for retail audits and inspections.

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