Without a doubt, one of the busiest sales of the year is Black Friday. Although it is a popular pre Christmas offer, it is also an extremely difficult and gruelling day for both merchants and customers. Theft and other forms of criminal activity are unavoidable due to the increase in human activity and traffic.
It is essential for both customers and merchants to put in place specific steps to ensure safety while shopping on Black Friday, whether you are doing it online or at your neighbourhood brick-and-mortar store. To help you shop safely on Black Friday, we've highlighted our top Black Friday Event security suggestions for retail store managers have a safe and shopper friendly day.
Top tip for store security on Black Friday
Hire Extra Security Guards
This advice is particularly helpful for retail stores in London's shopping districts such as Central London (West End), Covent Garden, Stratford, White City, Chelsea and Knightsbridge because it can reduce or even keep prospective thieves, looters and pick pockets away from your store. It will also aid your stores responsibility for customers health and safety whilst shopping. It can be all too simple for situations to get out of hand and worsen during Black Friday's rush and bustle, leading to theft, violence and thuggery. We have seen it too many times in previous years when things have got out of hand from a simple Tesco TV Black Friday deal.
This is why hiring London security guards to secure your brick and mortar store is a great way to ensure the safety of your customers, staff, product, and even yourself. Fahrenheit's security guards can help immediately to put a stop to any illegal activity from happening or stop it in its tracks when spotted.
Deploying a security guard or additional security guards on Black Friday will enable you to utilise the security to:
Conduct a thorough patrol before the store opens for the Black Friday Event, ensuring all walkways are clear and items have been tag checked
Have a presence at the front entrance and maintain crowd control. One of the challenges of Black Friday any shopper and retailer would know all too well is the frustrating queue. It can be quite the challenge when it comes to managing crowds, which is why it is important to effectively manage the queue to make sure that things do not get out of hand and everything stays under control. A good way to control the queue is to have security guards on hand.
Have a patrolling presence throughout the store if you have hired an extra security officer for Black Friday. A uniformed patrolling guard is an excellent deterrent against shoplifters and pickpockets. This mitigation tactic means shop staff can focus on offering sales support and customer service, whilst the security guards secure!
Provide situational awareness and security training to retail staff
Your in store retail team includes sales and customer service staff, store supervisors, cleaners and everyone else who works at the retail store.
The threats store staff typically face during a Black Friday Event are not severe. Yet, it’s important that they are trained to take appropriate actions in higher-risk scenarios that Black Friday could bring with it in Central London to ensure everyone’s safety. Retail staff should understand:
How to screen the area around them when arriving and leaving the retail store
When to not be alarmed and resume normal store operations
How to securely move cash if need be during Black Friday
When and how to advise other staff of a threat
How to effectively report any suspicious or unusual activity to the mall security team and/or 101/999, with valuable descriptions or photos of the suspect(s)
How to address visitors’ questions and redirect them in the event of a fire alarm sounding
How to handle unattended bags and luggage
Adapt retail store opening and closing procedures
Because store shopping hours are fixed, it’s easy for those with criminal intentions to scope out and survey the store and its operations including when staff and security arrive and leave.
For Black Friday, you should maintain your store’s usual opening and closing times but have security and staff arrive one hour before. This will ensure better preparedness as your people and stores’ staff can settle in, inspect and finalise preparing their environment for the busy day ahead. So that when your London store opens, it’s staffed with people mentally prepared to monitor crowds and detect potential shoplifters and troublemakers.
Ensure that security equipment and procedures are planned on time for Black Friday
Your store security team plays a crucial role in keeping your staff, customers and property safe. The frenzy of Black Friday requires additional tasks to be added to the stores security plan, including equipment protocols and emergency procedures. Security and health and safety should be discussed, documented and communicated to all members of your stores security and retail team at least one week prior to Black Friday so everyone can work together and know their roles and responsibilities and those of others:
Ensure there will be adequate and operational flashlights and radios prior to the store opening
Review procedures to report suspicious behaviour, including customers who wave at security cameras or wander into restricted areas
Increase alertness within the team and emphasize the importance of fast emergency response
Check high-risk areas in store during the Black Friday Event
Store Toilets: the private nature of a stores toilets makes them especially attractive to potential criminals, therefore important places to patrol.
Changing Rooms: Ensuring fitting room security procedures are in place, understood and actioned by all. Items should be counted in and out and changing rooms checked after each use for discarded security tags.
Bins are potential storages for stolen goods, discarded security tags, weapons, explosives and suspicious packages, particularly during Black Friday special sales. Prevent bins from being used for criminal purposes by using clear plastic bags and changing them frequently throughout the day.
Fahrenheit Security is one of the best-established security companies in London. We provide retail security guards for stores on Black Friday and throughout the year. Contact us to get a free quote for your security requirements.