Black Friday Security Tips for Retailers
Black Friday is the most anticipated day of the year
for many retailers, and often the most dreaded. It begins the holiday
shopping season, when stores traditionally move out of the red and into
the black; but it can also mean unmanageable crowds, short tempers and
To help you ensure a safe and successful start to the season, we’d
like to share security tips in three critical areas: Crowd Management;
Pre-Event Training; and Systems Checks.
It’s not just the big-box retailers who have to worry about crowds.
Stores of all kinds can be quickly overwhelmed by shoppers if retailers
are not properly prepared.
• Set up physical barriers – wood horses,
traffic cones and rope stanchions – to organize the flow of customers
into your store. And be sure to have a designated person stationed
outside to let waiting customers know exactly how many people will be
allowed to enter at a time and at what intervals. Physical barriers are
only effective if they are accompanied by clear instructions from
someone in a position of authority.
• Analyze which departments are
likely to attract the most customers, so you can develop ways to route
patrons safely and efficiently where they want to go (clear signage and
well-trained personnel can go a long way).
Black Friday presents your staff with unique challenges, as does the
whole holiday shopping season. Employees and customers both benefit
when store personnel are well prepared.
• At the exits: establish
clear procedures for checking receipts and for deactivating sensormatic
tags that have been mistakenly left active.
• Train all employees –
full-time, part-time and temporary – in your store’s policies and
procedures, including how to handle potentially challenging situations.
Just as important, make sure store personnel know how to recognize when
they need help and how to get the help they need quickly.
• Be sure that Loss Prevention staff are fully trained and prepared for the extra demands they are likely to face.
If you think you may need to supplement your own Loss Prevention staff,
contract a professional security service well ahead of time. This will
allow the additional personnel to be fully trained in your policies and
There is no good time for a false alarm, but Black Friday is probably
the worst. And it’s certainly no time for the failure of safety and
security systems to endanger people or property.
• Be sure to check and test all security and safety equipment well in advance, so you have time to take care of any problems.
• All exits should be checked both for security and for easy access in the event of an emergency.