As millions of Americans across the country get ready to take advantage of coveted Black Friday deals, retailers must prepare themselves for those “shoppers” that show up to take advantage of the five-finger discount not advertised in the weekly circular.
For many retailers, Thanksgiving weekend is their one shot all year to get into the black, but where there are profits there are theives. Large crowds, confined spaces and customers eager to catch the best sales of the season can create security challenges that retailers must address.
As you begin to prepare your business for this holiday shopping season, take stock of your store’s vulnerabilities and implement a plan that will ensure the safety of your customers, employees and profits. Here are five recommendations to consider:
Control the Crowd
Crowds can lead to confusion, and confused customers can lead to lost sales. Develop a crowd control plan. Retractable stanchions and barriers, both inside and outside of your establishment are a great way to coral customers into the areas where you want them. Sectioning off areas of the store and providing clear signs and directions can help to increase engagement, improve store organization and expedite checkout. There are other benefits as well. An organized store creates a clear line of sight into theft. Thieves are unable to blend in and get lost in the chaos that crowds can cause.
Black Friday week can be hard on retail employees. It’s important to make sure they are ready for the challenge. Retraining your employees to spot retail crime and manage difficult customers before the season begins is key. Make sure ALL employees are up to date on the latest procedures and know how to handle tough situations. A refresher course can help prepare your employees to handle one of the most challenging weeks of the year.
When in doubt get help…
Hiring seasonal help during the holidays is a common practice for most retail establishments. Extra help can improve the flow of the store and customer service. The more employees you have working your Black Friday sale, the better chance you have of maintaining order during this hectic time.
Beef up your security mix…
You’ve bulked up your inventory, now it’s time to properly protect it. Surveillance cameras at key points around your retail store, complemented by video analytics software can be a fantastic crime prevention formula. Integrating decoy GPS trackers along with your high value products like smartphones, jewelry and even cash is another way to protect your store. And with GPS you have a 70%+ chance of recovering those assets if they are stolen. Whatever your decision, taking advantage of the latest anti-theft technologies is a great way to keep your store properly protected.
Customers are what keep your store running. Ensuring their happiness is the key to customer retention and the repeat business your store needs to be a success. By properly optimizing your store, you are solving one of the biggest complaints customers have about in-store shopping — it’s stressful!
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