The countdown to Black Friday has well and truly commenced…
Black Friday is one of the most demanding shopping days of the year, and this year it takes place on 29th November 2019.
With Christmas just around the corner, it’s not unusual for shoppers to be on the hunt for the best deal. After all, Christmas can be an incredibly expensive time, with the typical UK household spending an additional £800 in December according to the Bank of England.
So, what better time to bag a bargain than on Black Friday and Cyber Monday! But just how far would you go to save some precious pennies?
In previous years, we’ve heard of tragic incidents during this annual event whereby Black Friday shopping antics have caused stampedes to occur with masses of shoppers taking to shop floors in quick succession! For example, in 2014 fights broke out in a Wembley-based Asda over discounted TVs!
So, ahead of Friday 29th November (Black Friday, 2019), we’ve put together some helpful points on what employers can do to look after their staff at this time…
Health and safety risks for retailers
Being on the retailing ‘front line’ on Black Friday is no mean feat, after all it’s a tough industry to work for. So, with all this additional spending and fraught promotions up for grabs, what are the risks for retailers from a health and safety prospective and what should retailers be thinking about to limit the likelihood of injury?
Take the opportunity to consult with your staff by calling upon their years of previous experience. It’s likely that those old-timers will know what worked well in the past, and what didn’t. So, use their knowledge to create a more efficient, and ultimately safer environment. For example, let’s consider queue-management, you can consult with your staff on using distinct service-lines (i.e. lines on the floor), to having staff to manage the lines to ensure no arguments or altercations break out.
Without planning, there’s no real clarity of who does what and when. From planning your promotions to ensure you have the correct stock levels, to planning duties throughout the day, and assigning them to the relevant staff. From tills to queue-management, and shelf-filling to security. Planning is also required regarding shifts and break times in order to ensure the right number of staff are on the shop floor at all times.
Through communication, you bring together the two previous stages; consultancy and planning and make this known to staff that were not directly involved in the decision-making, but who still need to be aware of the protocol.
This same communication applies to not only your staff, but your customers too! By letting your customers know your plans for the busy period ahead they can shop knowing what to expect, rather than showing up ready for ‘battle’. Facilitating an organised and well-managed environment will put unnecessary risk at bay and bring order to the chaos that is often Black Friday.
- Extend your promotions.
Many retailers, as a precautionary measure to maximise profits but also relieve customer stampedes on Black Friday have moved from one-day to week-long events. This means less fraught customers, less potential for injuries, more trading time, potentially more money to make, but overall a more enjoyable shopping experience.
- And relax.
After your Black Friday trading has finished, there needs to be a point where business-as-usual is resumed. Whether you continue your promotions over the weekend onto Cyber Monday or not, you’ll need to communicate your promotion end date and decide in advance when normal standards of compliance return and are adhered to so there’s no blurred lines.
The phrase ‘nothing we do is worth being harmed for…’ will most likely be resonating in retailers’ minds as they anticipate the high expectations among customers regardless of their limited stock this Black Friday.
Yet no television, however smart, nor pair of curtains for that matter is worth being injured over whether it be Black Friday or any other day.
And with that in mind, Croner-i wish you all a safe (and profitable) Black Friday!