2013 Black Friday Loss Prevention Tips
Black Friday, retail’s favorite day of the year. This is the day when
sales skyrocket, catapulting retailers into the black. Unfortunately for many,
this is also the day when shrink and loss skyrocket as well. Some of the issues
that cause this shrink can be prevented by properly training employees, but
others may seem out of your hands. In order to prevent loss and help the big day
run smoothly I decided to take our Black Friday tips from last year, and update
the list. Below are the 2013 Black Friday Loss Prevention Tips.
|Deploy promotions strategically. Last year some
retailers like Wal-Mart made the decision to stagger the starting
times of various promotions. They picked times that were a few hours
apart in an effort to control the crowds. All of their effort paid
off, because for the most part their system worked. Crowd control is
a huge issue on Black Friday. Large crowds can lead to loss,
vandalism, and injuries (which could lead to loss down the road).
Strategically timing promotions will not only prevent loss, but keep
everyone safe during the Black Friday frenzy.
|Arm your employees with technology. If I had to
pick two things that shoppers hate the most about Black Friday, it
would be sold out items and long check-out lines. Both of these
things lead to angry and upset customers. Some of these customers
attempt to justify their own loss by taking something from the
store. It may not be common, but anything is possible on Black
Friday. The easiest way to prevent this is to arm employees with
technology. Arming your employees with Mobile POS stations will help
to alleviate the pain of long lines. You can also give employees
tablets, and have them hang around items that are popular. Right
before the shelves become bare have them step in and order the item
online for interested shoppers, and offer free shipping.
|Properly train employees. As mentioned in the
introduction, many of the issues that cause loss on Black Friday can
be resolved by properly training employees. I know many retailers
know how to train their employees, but Black Friday is the perfect
time for a refresher. As you train your holiday staff why not bring
in the full timers to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Also
be sure that your managers know what to do if someone makes a
mistake. Having them step in quickly to resolve an issue can go a
long way on Black Friday.
|Have reserves at the ready. The one thing that is
certain about Black Friday is uncertainty. We can plan all we want,
but there is always that one incident that we never saw coming.
Because of this it is always a good idea to keep a group of trusted
employees “on-call” at all times. This way when that unexpected
event happens (be it a rush of people, change in weather, or
anything else you can imagine) you will be ready for it, or at least
have the man power to resolve it.
|Stay Calm! It’s just a day. Yes this day may be
chaotic, it may be crazy, and it may be nonstop, but it is just a
day. Remind your employees to keep their cool regardless of the
situation, because once you lose a level head you lose control. Also
remind your LP team to resolve situations as quickly as possible.
People tend to act differently in crowds, and the last thing you
need is the crowd to turn against you. If you remain to stay calm
the crowd is likely to follow.
The above tips are just a few suggestions, there are many other things
retailers can do to prepare for the big day. Regardless of how you prepare for
this day remember one thing, this year’s shopping season is six days shorter
than last year’s. Because of this, Black Friday may be busier than ever this
VP, Product Strategy