Like The Herald Business Journal on Facebook!
The Herald of Everett, Washington
Heraldnet.com

The top local business stories in your email

Contact Us:

Josh O'Connor
Publisher
Phone: 425-339-3007
joconnor@heraldnet.com

Jody Knoblich
General Sales Manager
Phone: 425-339-3445
Fax: 425-339-3049
jknoblich@heraldnet.com

Jim Davis
Editor
Phone: 425-339-3097
jdavis@heraldnet.com

Site address:
1800 41st Street, S-300,
Everett, WA 98203

Mailing address:
P.O. Box 930
Everett, WA 98206

HBJ RSS feeds

Wal-Mart wristbands deter shopper melees

SHARE: facebook Twitter icon Linkedin icon Google+ icon Email icon |  PRINTER-FRIENDLY  |  COMMENTS
Bloomberg News
Published:
WASHINGTON -- With an estimated 140 million Americans predicted to shop this weekend, retailers are bolstering security, deploying Segway patrols and putting on live music to distract shoppers and avoid the deal-hunting scrums that have fostered Black Friday tramplings.
Malls are beefing up patrols with off-duty cops. Chains including Wal-Mart Stores are using quota systems, including wristbands, for popular doorbusters from iPads to jewelry. The National Retail Federation issued crowd management guidelines, urging stores to prepare for flash mobs, long lines of angry customers and crowded washrooms. The Washington-based trade group has sent out the memo annually since a Wal-Mart worker was trampled to death in 2008 during a Black Friday melee.
Sales from Black Friday through Cyber Monday will increase 2.2 percent to $40.5 billion, IBISWorld Inc. predicted. General merchandisers such as Wal-Mart, Target Corp. and Sears Holdings Corp. typically attract the biggest crowds. That's because shoppers want to get everything at one place on a day when traffic and parking are challenging, said Rich Mellor, the NRF's vice president of loss prevention.
Shoppers are "anxious to be first," he said. "They get really rambunctious coming in the door. You have to be informative so they're not going crazy looking for whatever."
Stores ramped up security precautions earlier than ever this year because so many chains opened their doors on Thanksgiving Day. Nearly a quarter of shoppers, or 33 million people, intending to hit the stores this holiday weekend planned to shop Thursday, according to an NRF survey.
Even as retailers prepare for potential trouble during the annual shopathon, they're piling on the discounts to persuade wary shoppers to spend.
Black Friday safety became a preoccupation for retailers after the Wal-Mart worker's death five years ago at a store in Valley Stream, N.Y.
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration cited the company for "inadequate crowd management," and in May, 2009, said the worker died of asphyxiation after he was knocked to the ground and trampled by a crowd of about 2,000 shoppers who surged into the store for a "Blitz Friday" sale.
With more stores opening on Thanksgiving, malls have been seeing more guests who drank too much booze with their turkey, said Garth Gasse, director of retail operations and asset protection at the Retail Industry Leaders Association, an Arlington, Va., trade group. "They've probably consumed a few and they probably shouldn't be out shopping," Gasse said.
Story tags » Wal-MartThanksgivingShopping

Related

MORE HBJ HEADLINES

CALENDAR

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus

Market roundup