Serious shoppers see Black Friday as a super exciting time to grab big deals. Insurers, however, see the potential dangers that could cause problems on Black Friday. One insurer has given retailers a list of safety tips, that could help them to avoid problems. It remains to be seen if the stores will choose to follow that advice.
Chubb Group of Insurance Companies has warned retailers that they need to put extra effort into security measures this Black Friday. Chubb is one of the insurers who sell policies to retailers, so it is understandable that the insurer wants to find ways to reduce the amount of claims that they might have to pay out after the most chaotic shopping weekend of the year is over.
Many stores will purchase a form of liability insurance. This is supposed to cover certain types of problems that can happen in a store at any time of the year. Typically, the liability insurance covers certain types of things. It covers the cost of the medical treatment that a customer requires after he or she gets hurt while shopping at a store. It also covers the cost of legal fees and jury awards if a customer gets angry enough to file a lawsuit against the store.
A few years ago, a man who was working in a Walmart store died on Black Friday. I cannot recall which state the Walmart was located in, but I remember that a man who was a seasonal worker got trampled to death by the crowds. That particular Walmart store failed to provide the proper amount of security, and didn’t bother doing any form of crowd control.
Chubb is recommending the following advice to retailers:
Don’t delay the door openings. If your sales paper, and your website, said your store will open at midnight (or at four in the afternoon on Thanksgiving), then make sure that you open the doors at that time. People who have been waiting in line are going to start getting anxious if the doors open even a minute later than they were supposed to. This can lead to a large, dangerous, pile up of people at the door, who will stampede.
Get the police involved. If your store is going to open up at a strange hour, (like four in the morning, for example), call the local police, and let them know ahead of time. That way, they can make sure they have enough police officers on hand in case the crowd that has gathered in front of your store gets unruly.
Get more security. Ask the police to send a police car to your parking lot, and have it circle through it. If it is obvious that there is a police presence in the parking lot, this could deter some criminals from breaking into cars, causing damage, and stealing the full shopping bags that were inside the car. Make sure the parking lot is well lit, too.
Stores also need to hire actual security guards to help keep people, well, “in line”. Chubb suggests beefing up the hired security with a few off duty police officers as backup.
Image by Mark Coggins on Flickr