Coming up at the end of each week is the day that we all love, Friday.
Many of us spend the other four days of the week willing it forward so that our weekends can begin. This Friday however is a little different. This Friday, people don’t just look forward to it, they are prepared for it in an almost military sense. The reason for this is because on the 25th November it is the infamous ‘Black Friday’.
The first one that took place in the UK went by without too many issues and it was typically British, all very polite, with people wondering around the shops as they would normally. A lot of us stayed at home and didn’t bother as we suspected that this was another marketing ploy that would offer about as much saving as one of the thousands of sofa sales that go on throughout the year.
Black Friday out of control?
Since that first one however, things have become a little less civilised; a little less polite. The doubters were left reeling at the news that huge televisions were bought for the same amount as a microwave and that it wasn’t just an excuse for retailers to get rid of the stock that had been gathering dust in their warehouses for the last 12 months.
Last year, UK shoppers spent an astronomical £1.1 billion. Retailers such as John Lewis achieved record sales days, Currys PC World reported selling a record breaking 30 TVs each minute and experts revealed that tech-related items were on average 31% cheaper than usual with less traditional products being discounted by up to 50%.
Unfortunately, these incredible statistics were accompanied with a number of problems. Retailer websites crashed because of a huge surge in traffic and significant physical damage caused due to chaos amongst shoppers. Manchester was particularly badly hit and featured heavily in the press, with the police force stretched to breaking point with the sheer number of incidents during the day. Countless supermarkets called upon the police to help maintain order and offer enhanced security. There were disputes amongst shoppers who were injured and fights broke out between those desperate to get the best deals.
Black Friday risks
There are risks associated with ‘Black Friday’ that insurance policies should assist with. The obvious causes for concern are physical damage to your property, stock and the enhanced risk of physical injury to the customers. The UK Government has urged many retailers to not take part in the event this year. ASDA has confirmed that they will continue not to partake but for the majority, losing out on those sales figures is just not an option.
If you are a business taking part in ‘Black Friday’, we at Caunce O’Hara would urge you to thoroughly plan the event from a risk management point of view. Make sure that extra attention is paid to potential slip and trip hazards and that if there is any high value stock that doesn’t form part of the event, it is moved away from potential damage and stored safely.
Perform some research into getting additional security staff to help dissolve any issues that could result in damage or injury. This will also help to keep some order to the days trading. Just as importantly, make sure that your company insurance policy is up to date and it includes accidental damage and malicious damage cover just in case anything goes wrong.