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Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, and it marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Named Black Friday because it is a day retailers make profits and go into the black, Black Friday holds a different meaning for many retail employees. For employees, it’s a black Friday all right: It’s a stressful, busy day of dealing with hoards of customers who can be demanding and unreasonable.
Ridiculously low prices, brilliant marketing, and holiday buzz get consumers in the door. Once in the stores, however, customers must fight their way through crowds, risk getting trampled, and race to the items on their shopping lists. Many customers are disappointed to find that they are too late to grab their desired items because the swifter customers already beat them to the iPad2 or the 72” flat screen TV.
Meanwhile, frontline employees work to keep the shelves neat, field complaints about roughhousing and out-of-stock items, struggle to get price checks, answer questions, and ring customers up. It’s a guaranteed stressful day. While there’s no balm to remove the stress of Black Friday, I do have 4 tips to help make Black Friday a little less stressful for the frontline employees that help make Black Friday a profitable shopping day.
- Properly Train Employees to Manage the Event – Black Friday is a significant event, not unlike an NFL game or a hip-hop concert. There will be crowds, excitement, chaos, and risks. Employees must be trained on what to do in overcrowding situations, crowd pushing, violence and fire. A detailed staffing plan is a must so that all employees have specific locations fully staffed during the Black Friday event. Additionally, a clear safety plan must be created and rehearsed before the event so that the store is completely prepared for any emergency situations.