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Prevent Black Friday Lawsuits: 5 Retail Tips

By Andrew Lu | Last updated on

In recent years, Black Friday has become associated with severe discounts, amazing deals, and shopper stampedes.

You may recall that people have literally been trampled to death when stores open their doors, as MSNBC has reported. If you fail to follow some basic Black Friday safety tips, you could face a premises liability lawsuit for resulting injuries this shopping season.

Fortunately for you, most Black Friday injuries can be avoided. Here are five common mistakes you should avoid this holiday shopping season to keep your customers safe:

  1. 15-Minute Sale At the Crack of Dawn! Nothing will incite a shopper stampede quite like a limited deal at a specific time. Instead of forcing your customers to come in all at once during a very short window of time, you should consider staggering your deals throughout the day.

  2. Only 7 Copies of "Black Ops 2" at 50% Off. With an amazing deal like this, you are inviting literally hundreds if not thousands of shoppers. But if only a handful will actually get the deal, you are also potentially enraging hundreds if not thousands of empty-handed shoppers. If you do provide door-buster deals, make sure to have reasonable quantities on hand to avoid angering your customers.

  3. Hire an 18-Year-Old to Manage Crowds. Telling a minimum-wage high-school student to play crowd control on Black Friday would be like putting the teen in charge of the president's security detail. Well, maybe it wouldn't be quite so severe, but make sure that your crowd control personnel actually have some experience controlling crowds.

  4. Have Your Checkout Clerk Moonlight as Security. It cannot be emphasized enough to hire experienced security personnel for Black Friday shopping. If you offer killer deals and expect large crowds, make sure you have the right personnel to keep everyone safe. Part-time seasonal help and the person working the register should not be working as your security.

  5. Leave the Cleaning for Later. Large crowds will inevitably create a large mess. Clutter and spilled liquids can create safety hazards for your shoppers. You should monitor your store throughout the day, and be sure to make cleanup a priority.

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