How to Manage Crowds at a Retail Sales Event During COVID-19

Safety Sticklers Tips How to Manage Crowds at a Retail Sales Event During COVID-19

How to Manage Crowds at a Retail Sales Event During COVID-19

Retail sales events are not a thing of the past! They just need to be done with extra special care in the wake of the coronavirus. Here are 12 health and safety tips, courtesy of the Safety Sticklers!

Images of Black Friday sales of the past seem like a bygone era. But you can still expect a good amount of customers for your annual sales events, like Labor Day, Black Friday, and other promotions inspired by the holidays. Here are some tips on making whatever you put on as safe, healthy, and organized as possible.

Make Sure Emergency Personnel Know About the Event

You’ll want to ensure that the fire and police departments know about your sales event. They may want to coordinate with you or perform a safety inspection. And you don’t want to get everything set up just to discover you need certain permits.

But at the very least, you’ll want the event on their radar in case something happens. Even in the best of times, an emergency situation can come out of nowhere, especially during sales events. This may prove especially true in the wake of the coronavirus.

Develop Your Own Emergency Plan

This can be in coordination with local fire departments or a safety expert, or it can be something you develop on your own. But it’s crucial that you have a safety plan in place that all staff and security is aware of. 

While you can’t overplan, you don’t want to overwhelm everyone either. Keep it simple and straightforward. Everyone should know exactly what to do if something happens, such as a crowd panic, an unruly customer, and so on.

Utilize Wireless Communication

Everyone should be in communication at all times. Often, people won’t have time to pull out their phones or get to a PA system to relay information. Every staff member should have a headset and a call button for communicating in a moment’s notice. 

From mundane information to emergency situations, wireless comms is a game-changer. And these days, it’s surprisingly affordable.

Run Special Deals on Pickup and Delivery Orders

The fewer people inside your store, the safer and healthier it is. That’s just the safe truth of the COVID-19 era. But minimizing entry doesn’t mean you can’t have thousands of customers in one day. 

Rather than have everyone storm the front doors, why not offer special discounts on pickup and delivery orders? What if you can save 20% on your whole order if you choose to pick up rather than shop? The possibilities are endless, and the additional health and safety benefits are numerous.

Create Ample Social Distancing Outside and In

Steel barricades, retractable belt barriers, and floor stickers can all be essential aspects to creating effective social distancing from the moment they exit their car to when they drive away. 

Barricades create clear exterior queues that clearly establish where people need to be to safely line up. Retractable belt barriers that are at least 6.5 feet long can actually showcase six feet of social distancing. And floor stickers are a cheap and easy way to show exactly how far apart people should stand.

You can find it all at the Sonco store, with products specifically designed for retail environments.

Reduce Parking Capacity

One way to reduce capacity before you need to stop people from entering is by cutting the number of parking spots in half. When you have traffic cones taking up every other space, fewer people can enter the store. 

Further, spacing out parking is social distancing best practice, as people can often get into each other’s space simply by entering and exiting their vehicles.

Consider Utilizing Additional Outdoor Bathroom Facilities

If people are going to be waiting in line longer due to reduced capacity, it’s a nice gesture to have a few outdoor bathrooms. They’re cheap to rent, around two hundred bucks per day, and customers will greatly appreciate it. 

You’ll want to have a hand sanitizing station or two nearby as well, which can also come in handy for people who want to wash up while waiting.

Extra bathrooms also minimize the chance that someone will try to circumvent the line just to use the bathroom, which can lead to undue interactions with staff that comprise their health and safety.

Count Who You’ll Let in Before Opening the Doors

Rather than starting to let people in at the front of the line, count down the line until you get to the desired number of people. Then stay there to hold everyone – while someone in the front lets people inside.

Once the front group has entered, lead the line to the closed front door to await entry. Then repeat. That way, you avoid a mad dash when the door opens.

Read Too: Crowd Control For Stores: Retail’s Complete Guide

Invest in a Lot of Custom Safety Signage

You want large, unmissable safety signage throughout your parking lot, at every entrance, and throughout the store. People will need to know all the health and safety protocols, what’s expected, and where to go. 

You can incorporate your brand logo and colors into the signage to make it all double as promotional tools too. In fact, COVID-19 safety signs can be attention grabbing enough to encourage patronage.

Enforce Strict One-Way Entry and Exits

The less people cross each other’s paths, the better they can maintain social distancing. While this will be all but impossible inside the store, it’s crucial for entry and exits. Steel barricades, belt barriers, and signage are all great ways to make this happen. And with so many people vying to get inside, simply having door sensors on one side won’t cut it.

Set Up Hand Sanitizer Stations

You can’t have too many hand sanitizer dispensers around the store. On pillars, checkout lines, entry points, inside and outside bathrooms, the list is endless. While it’s not feasible to have one every five steps, making sure one is always nearby is an easy and effective way to improve overall sanitation.

Also Check: Guide to Social Distancing Equipment

Partner with a Sonco Expert for Total Peace of Mind

If you want total peace of mind, the best place to start is by giving Sonco a call. Our team of experts offer no-obligation, expert advice with proven advice. We have experience across a wide range of industries, including both retail and event management.

Giuliano Marinho
Giuliano Marinho
Specialist in Crowd Control and Perimeter Security, I am in charge of the largest portal of the segment in the USA. We provide the latest in crowd management products. We are in business of designing products that will enhance the security and safety of YOUR people and assets. Our ultimate goal is to give our customers’ peace-of-mind.
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