The day after Thanksgiving, once a time of rest and recovery, is now the largest shopping day of the year. We call it “Black Friday,” so named because the post-Thanksgiving shopping season is when many retailers reach profitability, moving from the “red” to the “black.” It may also be known as Black Friday because it is when retailers see the worst in people: anxiety, greed, anger, etc.
Regardless of how individuals may feel about it, Black Friday has become an important part of the economy—today, it is a barometer that lets economists know how U.S. citizens are spending as a whole. And spend they do. In recent years, retailers could expect up to 150 million shoppers to spend between$50 and $60 billionin stores in a single day. This is a shopping day that can make or break a retail business’ entire year.
Injury, Death, Mayhem, & Stealing
In addition to spending, the holidays see a significant uptick in theft and violence in stores. Black Friday is associated with tragic stories like the death of Jdimytai Damour, who was trampled to death by unruly Black Friday shoppers in 2008. Smaller incidents often go unreported, but retailers have noted that punching, fighting, shoving, and general mob-like behavior is commonplace. Recent statistics report that retail crime increases by30%when the holiday shopping season begins, affecting95%of retailers.
As a retailer, you know that you need to be on your guard for Black Friday. “How to Shoplift,” a blog written by an anonymous former Loss Prevention officer, advises would-be shoplifters that “If you’re shoplifting, you want passive employees.” He also mentions that thievery is made more difficult as retail locations begin to hire off-duty officers to work as private security. Their training catches thieves quickly and effectively.
Your Loss Prevention team and your employees may be well-trained and highly-vigilant, but they are likely unprepared for the heightened potential for violence and crime on Black Friday. The best way to prepare is to hire a security team to protect your customers and your property. According to recent trends, your neighboring businesses will be doing the same—but there’s only so many off-duty officers that are available.
As demand increases, private security rates will climb. If you want the best chance at having a competent, experienced, and skilled security team protecting your business and shoppers, you will want to hire their services as soon as possible—this week at the latest. Our company, Innovative Surveillance Solutions, offers highly-trained off-duty officers that serve as part of our retail security team. They have arrest authority and extensive experience in conflict resolution, so when a crisis arrives, we handle it.
To learn more about the needs retail businesses will have this holiday season, as well as the security services we offer to our retail clients,contact us!