According to a recent NRF survey, shoppers are expected to visit malls, shopping centers and retail stores in droves this holiday season looking for bargains. Along with this energy and excitement, loss prevention and security associates are preparing for the oncoming crowds.
Today NRF released its second version of the Effective Crowd Management white paper. After consulting with retailers, mall security and public officials, the document provides guidelines and considerations for both retailers and mall management officials when planning special events including Black Friday, product launches, celebrity appearances and promotional sales.
Tales of unexpectedly large crowds have been easy to come by in recent months. Just recently in Washington, the Jon Stewart Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear was initially expected to attract tens of thousands. In actuality, the rally attracted hundreds of thousands. Massive crowds took over the streets, the public transportation system was overwhelmed, and retailers within a half-mile radius of the National Mall had lines weaving throughout their stores. While the rally was a planned event, no one accurately estimated the large crowds that descended onto downtown Washington. Retailers and law enforcement responded accordingly, and customers were serviced as quickly and efficiently as possible.
With 20 days left until Black Friday, the clock is ticking. Make your list and check it twice.