Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, and it is the day when many retail stores offer fantastic deals and discounts on popular items. Every year, you probably see reports on the news about the insane lines these deals draw and the mayhem that can ensue once people are actually inside. It is not unheard of for customers and employees alike to get injured or worse during these Black Friday sales. Therefore, the proper steps should be taken to ensure that everyone gets a safe, fun shopping experience.
Employers Being Held Liable
In the wake of the traditional chaos that generally comes with Black Friday, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has created guidelines for business owners to follow to ensure a safe environment. Store owners are held under premises liability, which means that if someone, an employee or customer, gets hurt while on the store’s premises, then you are held liable. Slip and fall accidents are far too common, but it is also possible that people will get hurt due to falling merchandise or getting into a fight. You can help curtail these incidents by taking the proper actions before and during your Black Friday sale.
Planning Before Black Friday
The volume you get for your store’s Black Friday will likely depend on the size of the store. If you manage a large retail store such as Target or Wal-Mart, then you can likely expect some sizable crowds. If you operate a local business but still want to offer consumers deals for Black Friday, then you may not get as many customers as larger stores, but you should expect more traffic than usual. Here are some tips you should follow in order to be thoroughly prepared for the event.
•Estimate how many customers you are expecting and make sure you will have enough staff on hand to accommodate everyone.
•Look into getting increased security so that people are around whose sole job is to make sure no one steals anything.
•Give your employees training about how to handle large crowds and how to deal with unruly customers.
•Create signs that clearly indicate what the store’s hours will be and where certain, more desirable items are located in the store.
•Have an emergency plan at the ready in case violent acts break out or if there is a fire.
•Set up rope lines where people can line up before the store opens and make sure the line is not blocking the overall flow of traffic or anyone else’s business.
•Make sure all of your employees have radios so that they can communicate with one another throughout the event.
•Determine what the maximum occupancy is for your store and do not exceed that number for any reason.
During the Event
Once your store opens to the general public for Black Friday, there is still work to be done to ensure a safe time for everybody.
•Make sure you are able to accommodate individuals with disabilities so that they can enter the store and access every part of it.
•Inform all of your employees that the doors are about to open.
•Ensure you have security personnel stationed at the front entrance for crowd control.
•If you are able to, set up more than one entrance to manage traffic flow.
•Have some kind of public communication system set up such as an intercom system so that you are capable of communicating to the crowd if any issues come up or to inform people that you are out of a certain item.Having Black Friday sales is an excellent way to bring increased revenue to your business, but that extra cash flow is not going to do you much good if someone gets hurt on your premises. Create a safe environment so that people are able to shop in peace.
The content on our website is only meant to provide general information and is not legal advice. We make our best efforts to make sure the information is accurate, but we cannot guarantee it. Do not rely on the content as legal advice. For assistance with legal problems or for a legal inquiry please contact you attorney.