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Around five years ago, many UK retailers took up the American tradition of offering ludicrously good deals on the last Friday in November. And UK consumers loved it – in 2015, we collectively spent more than £3.3 billion over the Black Friday weekend. Now, with just two days to go, Black Friday 2016 is almost here.

But Black Friday has a darker side too. Many of you will have read reports or seen photos and videos of violence erupting on Black Friday. So, whilst the day remains an overwhelmingly positive experience for most people, retailers do need to be aware of the additional problems that such large numbers of consumers bring with them.

So long as you have appropriate security in place, Black Friday can be a fun and safe day for everybody.

Things to Think About:

  1. Crowd Control – With so many great deals available, large numbers of people will be attracted to the high-street this Friday. To prepare, retailers need to organise staff and give everyone a clear role. Along with the normal roles needed to keep your store running smoothly, you should consider putting more staff members on the shop floor so that they can monitor the flow of people entering and exiting the floor, answer any questions that consumers may have (to keep people moving) and resolve disputes if/when they occur.
  2. Shoplifting – Unfortunately, some criminals will see Black Friday as the perfect opportunity to steal from your store. Big crowds make it much harder to detect theft and far easier to run-away if discovered. To prevent shoplifting, make sure that someone is monitoring your CCTV all day, that you have adequate staff on the shop floor and consider limiting the number of people you allow into your shop at any one time.
  3. Emergency Response Procedures – Increased numbers of people visiting your store may complicate your usual emergency response procedures – whilst also increasing the chances of stampedes and fire. To avoid any major issues, it’s worth coming up with a specific emergency response procedure for Black Friday (once you’ve created this, you can use it on other busy days, too). You should consider equipping staff with walkie-talkies to ensure rapid communication, make sure that everyone is aware and plays a role in keeping fire escapes clear, and have a higher number of first-aiders in store than usual.

If you’re concerned about safety and security on Black Friday security, we offer a comprehensive range of services across the UK. Our experienced, SIA-licensed security guards are trained to keep everyone safe during busy events. Get in touch to find out more – it’s not too late. 

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John Melling is a Director for Churchill Security Ltd. John is a highly motivated, determined and decisive security industry professional. Drawing on his extensive experience gained within the security industry whilst working on the coalface John has operated at all levels within the industry. He has a proven track record for motivating and leading high performance teams and has helped mentor and develop many people at Churchill who now hold key or senior positions within the business. John is committed to delivering only the finest services, exercising compelling leadership, maintaining good internal morale and striving to resolve any challenges efficiently and effectively.