Crowd Control and Safety for the Upcoming Holiday Season
The National Retail Federation recently released its Effective Crowd Management guidelines for the 2013-2014 holiday season.
Each year, it seems like sales and promotions are beginning earlier and earlier -- and people are responding well to the increased savings and rewards they receive for shopping on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. This year, Black Friday is anticipated to draw 140 million shoppers, making it the busiest, most crowded Black Friday ever. Throngs of shoppers pouring into your shops, while obviously great for business, poses serious challenges for safety and crowd control. The NRF has addressed this, and offers suggestions to help retailers meet these challenges head-on.
This is the fourth year that the NRF has published guidelines to help retailers navigate the busy time surrounding Thanksgiving and Black Friday. This year, they have updated the existing guidelines to include advice regarding criminal flash mobs. These are a relatively new phenomenon in which flash mobs are used as a distraction for what can end up being large-scale, potentially dangerous theft.
The guidelines are certainly worth a look as we head into Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and then into the Christmas holiday season. The link to download the NRF publication is below:
In addition to providing a checklist for general crowd control procedures, the guidelines also address how to handle unexpected crowds and spontaneous events.
Here's to a safe and successful holiday shopping season for all!
-- Check out the NRF's Retail Blog, if you haven't already! Interesting and useful posts for all time of the year. Here's the link: http://blog.nrf.com/