Are your business clients ready for Black Friday?

Are your business clients ready for Black Friday? | Insurance Business

Are your business clients ready for Black Friday?
As Black Friday sales rise in popularity north of the border, brokers should reach out to retail clients to make sure that customer safety is included with the discounted prices.

“With customers and retailers alike counting the hours until Black Friday savings are available on November 28, it’s important for businesses to understand the potential hazards and to make the appropriate plans,” says Shauna Lynk, national claims director for GSL at RSA Canada.

“Managing Black Friday risks includes taking measures to improve crowd control and parking lot security to help customers enjoy the discounts as safely as possible,” says Lynk.  “Retailers should also be mindful that large numbers of customers can increase premises liability exposures such as tripping hazards and wet floors.”

Here are some of Shauna’s tips that brokers can share with their clients:

Managing the Crowds
•    Install rope lines or barricades for customers waiting for the store to open; and avoid starting lines right at the store entrance.
•    Explain entrance procedures to avoid customers surging though the doors.
•    Post signs that clearly outline expectations while in line and entering the store.
•    Ensure that emergency exits remain clear at all times.
•    Hire private security to help maintain order.
•    Review emergency procedures with team members who will be working that day. Knowing what to do can avoid confusion if an incident occurs. Stagger so-called ‘door-buster deals’ to help reduce the risk of everyone showing up at once.
•    Keep a sharp eye on how many customers are in your store to remain within recommended occupancy limits.
•    Plan for adverse weather and have staff ready to mop floors, clear snow, change mats and put out signage for wet floors.

Parking Lot Conditions
These few simple measures can reduce the risk of minor traffic accidents or other incidents that can lead to potential liability concerns.
•    Review the lighting conditions in your parking lot to help ensure customer safety. Criminals view Black Friday as an opportunity, so remind your clients to make sure their parking lot doesn’t have any potentially unsafe dark areas.
•    Have staff on traffic patrol in the parking lot to help customers enter and leave the lot safely, or if need be, turn away customers if the lot is full. Patrol staff in the parking lot will also act as a deterrent for potential thieves.
•    Ensure availability of staff to clear shopping carts that may be left stranded throughout the parking lot.

“These tips are a way for clients to protect their businesses, staff and customers during the mad retail rush of Black Friday,” says Lynk. “They are also a starting point for clients to consider when they are thinking of their overall safety strategy, especially during the holidays.”