Every year the holiday decorations seem to go up earlier and earlier. Now, with Thanksgiving right around the corner, comes the biggest shopping season of the year.
Black Friday starts so early that some stores open just as the turkey is starting to settle on Thursday evening. The big meal is not enough to stop the enthusiastic Black Friday crowd. Every year, crowds of people wait outside to storm the doors for the best deals. Is this behavior a potential cause for catastrophe?
Just let us in
Some stores will hold onto the suspense with their Black Friday ads. Others will let you form your Black Friday plan of attack by arming you with ads weeks before the big shopping day. Other stores offer gift cards or other incentives for the first people in the door. Some shoppers get so excited that they will line up hours before the store opens to get the best deal.
All of these people pushing toward the doors to get in can be a recipe for disaster. Not only have shoppers and store workers received injuries in years past, some have even died because of the crush of people rushing into the stores.
What is your risk?
Many stores have taken precautions to keep crowds in check. With the increase of online shopping and the addition of Cyber Monday, there are fewer actual fights on Black Friday. Still, during the shopping frenzy, there are lots of risks for shoppers and employees.
Even when they are busier than usual, store owners still have an obligation to maintain safe shopping environments. This includes crowd control, cleaning up spills and straightening shelves so items do not fall on customers.
If you are shopping on the day after Thanksgiving this year, pay attention to your surroundings and stay safe.