Black Friday is a mixed bag for retailers. It is, of course, the day that keeps you “in the black” for the rest of the year. But this day of eye-popping retail sales can come at a high cost. Your employees and customers can be in physical danger as emotions run high. Thieves can use crowds and confusion to their advantage. Failure to take steps to ensure the safety of your retail employees and property can lead to injuries (or worse), excessive shrink and legal liability. Here’s what you can do to protect yourself and your people.
Prepare for the Day
There is plenty to do well in advance of the big day to set yourself up for success. That includes:
- Creating a plan for where each worker will be posted.
- Contacting local fire and police agencies to ask for their safety best practices
- Checking that all permits and licenses are in order and you know the maximum capacity of people in your store.
- Practicing for possible emergencies so employees know what to do and who to contact in the event of an emergency.
- Setting up barricades for crowd control to minimize the risk of overcrowding, trampling, violence, and fire.
Keep Customers Calm and Employees Safe
People who stay up all night or get up early in the morning for steeply discounted prices are likely to be emotional. They are probably sleep-deprived, hungry, and possibly drunk. They are tense and possibly combative and territorial because they are worried about the scarcity of products they wish to purchase. Here are a few suggestions to keep things on an even keel.
- Provide a separate staff entrance that shoppers cannot access. Post a guard there to control egress if possible.
- Explain procedures to customers, direct them to lines and entrances.
- Update waiting customers regularly so they know what’s going on.
- Provide workers with a way to communicate with each other and emergency responders.
- Ensure that no emergency exits or equipment are blocked by people or merchandise.
Partner with a Security Firm
Even if you don’t employ security the remainder of the year, adding security over the holidays is a wise move. Don’t worry if you’re not sure how many people you need or exactly what kind of security equipment you may need to buy, a reputable security firm will be able to conduct a full assessment and make recommendations based on their knowledge and experience.
Contact BOS Security to learn more
Want to work with a security partner experienced in keeping retail shoppers and employees safe? Contact us today 404-793-6965 to learn more about how we customize security for your needs. We would be happy to schedule a free Security Needs Assessment.