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Our janitorial strategy for a retail flagship in a 100+ year old building

KEEN, known for their iconic footwear and sustainability ethos, has been a Cleansolution client since 2018.

Their global headquarters, located in Portland’s Pearl District, is a testament to their sustainability values. It is also a highly-interactive retail space, often described as “a playground.” We’ve worked with KEEN to develop a janitorial strategy for their retail flagship and HQ.

In 2012, KEEN purchased a five story, 50,0000-square-foot building to house their global headquarters, including R&D, operations, significant distribution and their flagship store. They committed to repurposing the majority of the building’s materials, famously setting and achieving a goal of only sending one dumpster of waste to the landfill. This was a monumental feat. Similar adaptive reuse projects often produce 2-3 dumpster loads of waste per week.

Four floors of the building are office space. The ground floor is dedicated to the Great Room, a community space, and the Garage—a wonderland of a retail experience. A gravity chute ferries shoes from the mezzanine stockroom to the front counter. An old bowling alley lane was repurposed as a table. Fixtures, like the sock rack, are reminiscent of vintage games. The kids’ area resembles a playground, complete with swing-like seats. Reclaimed barn doors, traffic signs and bleachers might bring back memories of childhood treehouses. Over the years, KEEN has added to the building and expanded operations into a nearby building. 

It’s an amazing space, and complicated from a cleaning standpoint. 100+-year-old buildings need special attention. Interactive spaces require innovative but careful plans. Good thing we’re always up for a challenge. 

How we’ve worked with KEEN

When Julie Rosequist, KEEN’s Workplace Experience Specialist, joined the company she knew she wanted a higher standard of care for KEEN’s facility. She wanted a janitorial partner who aligned with KEEN’s values and would take the time to get to know her building’s needs. We feel fortunate that we fit the bill. We worked with Julie to create a janitorial strategy for KEEN’s retail flagship and HQ that met expectations and ensured KEEN’s spaces and people would be well cared for. 

Alignment with KEEN’s values

KEEN’s values of Quality, Integrity, Health, Caring, and Pioneering drive the company. So, we made sure that we sourced personnel who would embrace these standards, weave them into the cleaning program and ensure that each decision and action measured up. 

We also took KEEN’s sustainability commitments seriously, sourcing eco-friendly products and supplies

Getting to know a busy, historic building

We take care of the entire KEEN property, including office suites in an offsite location. It’s a kaleidoscope of business elements from product development to non-profit partner gatherings to shipping, all set against a complex material palette. We’ve taken the time to get to know the building and learn about the cleaning needs of its elements—exposed brick walls, 100+-year-old wood floors, high-tech equipment, bowling lanes and 1940s bleachers. 

We also worked with Julie to establish a Day Porter service. Typical capacity for the building is 350 people. Night cleaning wasn’t sufficient to meet the needs of employees and customers. This intensified when more high-touch cleaning was needed to address COVID concerns.

Cross-training and COVID responsiveness

Recently, Julie filled us in on her experience of managing KEEN’s spaces during COVID. “Everyone was terrified early on. We didn’t, and in some ways still don’t, know what’s going on.” But KEEN employees were sharing with Julie that they felt safer because David, the Cleansolution day porter, was consistently proactive, diligent and innovative. 

David’s approach and our commitment to cross-training him has given her and the KEEN team peace of mind. “He’s independent. I can rely on him. And to have one person who can do many functions, who we know is trained, reliable, competent—it takes a huge weight off my shoulders.” Julie used our Electrostatic Spray Treatment several times throughout the past year and David has been able to integrate that service into his work at KEEN. She’s also worked directly with Matt, her account manager, to understand best practices and source much-needed supplies.

Lasting Relationships

We love working with Julie and KEEN, building a trusting relationship and ensuring a client feels cared for. It’s our goal with every client, and why Julie’s final thoughts meant so much: “The relationships we’ve built with everyone from Cleansolution has been great. They are people I want to know in my actual life, not just my work life.”

Contact us today to share your cleaning needs and learn how we can create a custom plan for you.