The big day is almost here! As the holiday shopping season approaches the home stretch, the editors of the Eagle Mat Blog have assembled this list of 10 tips for in-store retail safety. Inspired by the Christmas classic The Ten Days of Christmas, the following list summarizes 10 vital elements that need addressed to ensure shopper and employee safety through December and into the New Year.
Our list begins with a few pointers for evaluating current safety. Then, we shift focus to improving safety, especially in heavily trafficked areas like entryways. The list concludes with tips for effectively managing crowds, noting how variables like customer flow, sales displays, and returns/exchanges must be thoughtfully considered to keep things running smoothly.
Review the following list of retail safety tips, and be sure to add to our list in the Comments section below!
Tip 1: Perform a risk assessment.
First and foremost, perform a risk assessment to put yourself in the shoes of both shoppers and employees. How do you enter, circulate, and exit the store? What are the dangers you encounter? Are there ways to repair dangerous situations?
Tip 2: Replace worn out mats.
Focus on the condition of the floors during the risk assessment, as CNA insurance company notes poorly maintained floor surfaces are the #1 cause for slip and fall accidents in commercial settings. Replace old or worn out floor mats to ensure visitors have a clean, dry, and safe transition into the store.
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Tip 3: If mats are in good shape, launder them.
Not all mats will need replaced. Mats that are in good condition will need laundered, however, to ensure they perform their function and keep guests safe.
Tip 4: Review major shopping days with employees.
Each day between Thanksgiving and Christmas will see varying degrees of customer traffic. Prepare for fluctuations by reviewing the top 10 busiest shopping days, as predicted by the National Retail Federation.
Tip 5: Review your crowd management plan.
A crowd management plan is an actionable approach to safely setting up and running sales events that will draw large—and potentially unruly—crowds. Review your plan with all employees to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Tip 6: Strategically place sales displays.
When setting up sales displays, be sure to place the most popular items of the season in a place that is open and accessible. Avoid placing popular items in corners, narrow spaces, or other areas where crowds can bunch and become dangerous.
Tip 7: set-up crowd control prior to big sales events.
Ropes, posts/stanchions, and retractable belts are ideal for creating line queues to manage large crowds. Many retailers already use these systems at check-outs and customer service areas. In preparation for big sales events, consider using these systems to organize crowds as they line-up and enter the store as well.
Tip 8: Focus on entryway safety during sales events.
During the event, make entryway safety a priority. As the most heavily trafficked area of the store, even moderate debris and moisture accumulation can cause serious accidents in entryways. Station custodians and other personnel in these areas to keep them clean, dry, and safe.
Tip 9: consider offering special online-only sales events.
If your business has a website, consider offering a special online sale for certain items. This is a great way to treat customers to a sale without significantly increasing the danger that comes with increased store visitors.
Tip 10: Prepare for post-Christmas returns.
The holidays might be over, but the crowds are likely to stay somewhat strong. The days between Christmas and New Years warrant heightened attention to in-store safety, as does the rest of the winter.
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