Overcoming Crowd Challenges & Prioritizing Safety
With Black Friday predicted to be the busiest shopping day of the 2021 holiday season, U.S. retailers must confront heightened safety concerns while balancing the rapidly evolving retail culture.
According to a recent consumer survey from deal aggregate BlackFriday.com, consumers are prepared to increase holiday spending and in-person store visits this year. A whopping 77 percent of respondents plan to shop at brick-and-mortar locations “if the store is open and/or the deal is not available online.” It’s a season poised for a comeback! With SONCO’s help, your Black Friday store or event venue can strike that delicate balance between demonstrated safety protocols and a seamless, friendly shopping experience.
Popular Black Friday Safety Equipment
When it’s time to arrange your Black Friday sales event, SONCO helps you create shopping experiences that deliver enjoyment and efficiency while still adhering to best health practices. This year, shoppers are used to having more space, so consider building shopping areas that allow self-imposed distancing even as COVID-19 restrictions ease. If patrons feel too crowded, they could leave your retail environment in favor of a safer option.
Here are some additional hints for this year’s sales success:
- Set up practical, portable belt barriers and stanchions for waiting lines, register queues and foot-traffic direction.
- Use interior barricade covers to communicate safety details, illustrate item locations, map your store and highlight doorbusters.
- Anticipate and address continued consumer demand for health and safety vigilance.
- Check out this Safety Sticklers companion post for more tips on retail crowd management at sales and holiday events.
Retractable Belts & Stanchions
Belt barriers are the queue standard for stores, event centers and markets, and they are a trusted security staple for large retail events and department store sales. Last year’s distancing measures called for additional belt systems in shopping venues, and stores will use them heavily this year to protect employees and increase customer comfort. Your healthy, successful Black Friday sale calls for portable stanchions and belt systems in a variety of scenarios:
- Establishing sales lines & return queues
- Complying with local COVID-19 distancing guidelines
- Cordoning off popular items until sales time begins
- Preventing entry into doorbuster sales areas before they open
- Discouraging patrons from entering insecure areas or staff-only zones
Stanchion & Belt Tips for Successful Retail
- While many folks are reacclimating to group settings, leaving plenty of space between individuals, families and groups is wise. Consider adding more barriers and belt lengths than usual.
- Rethink slim, u-shaped queues that position customers shoulder to shoulder while facing opposite directions. Build wider queue lines when possible, or use long, snaking single-direction l-shape queues if space permits.
- When it is impossible to spread out stanchions, use floor signs and stanchion banners to note distancing requests. Shift displays away from registers to offer more room for waiting lines.
- Ensure all registers are open to avoid cashier pileups. And for more information about SONCO’s retractable belt barriers for holiday sales setups, check out this complete guide!
Accessorize Your Stanchions
Sanitizer posts and full-service hygiene stations are indispensable additions to any Black Friday belt barrier system, and store-provided disinfectants are an expected amenity now.
Ask a SONCO sales rep about mountable stanchion SmartQ sanitizer kits and wipe containers. These handy wash stations put shoppers at ease and deliver a more relaxing experience — and relaxed shoppers buy more! We also carry stanchion sign holders for changeable messaging that updates current sales information and reminds guests about distancing or health measures.
Say It With Signage & Custom Barricade Covers
Whether outdoors or in, barricades will always be a key component of safe, healthy Black Friday setups. But as effective as retractable belt barriers and steel barricades are, compliance is a primary determiner of crowd management and control. We’ve all seen Black Friday videos of customer confrontations, trampling injuries — or worse. With striking, motivational signage and a heightened sense of safety among most Americans, you’ll cover all the bases during Black Friday and the upcoming holidays.
In the spirit of aiding compliance, SONCO offers printed barricade covers as a cost-effective companion to your barrier purchase. Our in-house creatives use your logo or artwork files to develop Black Friday signage that helps patrons navigate stores, find favorite products and observe safety guidelines.
You can’t over-invest in signs, and barricade covers serve a multi-purpose function for your Black Friday blitz. Here are some benefits and tips to accompany their use:
- Covers are fast and straightforward to clean, keeping store environments sanitary during winter virus season and COVID-19 surges. Security, sales and management staff can quickly trade compromised barrier covers for clean versions for continuous protection.
- Custom social-distancing barricade covers encourage six or more feet of space between customers. Ask SONCO about stock printed covers that showcase distancing requests and invite compliance. People commonly overlook caution signage, especially after 1+ years of in-store health directives and mounting regulations. Barricade covers should contain powerful calls to action with high-impact layouts that motivate people to follow. For more information, visit Safety Sticklers’ last social-distance Black Friday guidelines.
Cost-Effective Crowd Control for Black Friday & Beyond
Retractable belt barriers and barricades with covers are two of the best tools in your Black Friday toolbox, but when budgets are too thin to buy more equipment, don’t go without crowd reminders! SONCO carries value-priced floor stickers and other economic forms of signage. Our products are also winter-tough. SONCO’s sturdy sign bases and floor stickers won’t succumb to damage from snow, slush and salt like cheap equipment and sign products do.
Partner with a Safety Stickler for a Black Friday
SONCO is proud of our retail partnerships and nearly 50 years of helping customers arrange venues in the safest possible way. Our experienced crowd control and perimeter security teams also provide no-obligation advice, so reach out today to discuss your venue-specific Black Friday safety and other security initiatives. Belt stanchions, steel barricades and barricade covers are built to last — for this year’s big sales and holiday seasons to come.