It happens every year. People line up for Black Friday deals days, if not a week, in advance. The doors open and people flood inside, running for the deals. At least once a year, as a result of the deals, someone gets killed or injured because of the sale madness. Every year retailers have giant payouts as a result of being ill-prepared when it comes to holiday havoc sales and security issues. And yet every year retailers don't change policies. They fail to protect themselves from lawsuits and bad press by avoiding the cost of hiring a company, like mine, that can offer pre-event training and comprehensive plans to keep store employees and customers safe.
I don't get it. Prevention is key. If we are having a major social function, security is increased. Policies in and out of the venue where the event is being held change for a reason. We meet the demands of the added people, time crunch, and potential security issues for that event. And yet, every year someone dies because retailers fail to pay for prevention security training. The loss of life and money is preventable with some aggressive planning, which should have started back in August. This said, if you are a company with a holiday sale happening this Black Friday- take notice. Below are some preventative tips that may help you avoid serious security issues and breaches.
1. Have a "first-in" lottery. Allow people to make a donation, say a dollar, to a local homeless shelter in exchange for a raffle ticket for the Black Friday events. Pull 50 names that can enter the store an hour before the sale and pick out up to $1,000 dollars worth of deals. After the limit, they can re-enter the store like everyone else.
2. Station security outside and assign numbers. Make sure security is disallowing backpacks and screening people with metal dectecting wands - one by one- before anyone can enter the store.
3. Have enough security allocated to implement step two.
These simple and obvious steps can prevent people from dying or becoming injured during any Black Friday event.
Still have questions? Contact me at IME directly. We still have time to help put together a plan for your retail needs.
Twyla N. Garrett