Last Updated: Wednesday, February 01, 2017

How Will Wal-Mart And Other Retails Drive Sales This Black Friday?
Updated: Tuesday, November 22, 2016

En route and on time for a safer Black Friday in 2016? Photo: Crowdsafe (c) 2016

This Black Friday, all eyes will be on Wal-Marts across the country as well as the retail industry, in general. Everyone---OSHA officials, law enforcement, personal injury lawyers, crowd safety experts and the general public---will be watching to see how safely shoppers are treated.

This year marks the second annual post-Thanksgiving sales special event since Wal-Mart Stores’ defeat in OSHA courts over the issue of responsibility for the safety of employees providing crowd control and crowd management. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. asserted that it was not their duty as an employer. Wal-Mart lost that argument. The court ruled that the duty to provide crowd control and crowd management training, supervision and equipment for workers tasked with the responsibility of the safety of shoppers belonged to employers. The impact of the landmark ruling applies to all businesses, not simply Wal-Mart or the retail industry, but everywhere workers are given the responsibility of managing crowds.

Based on last year’s Black Friday in the U.S., Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. fully accepted its legal responsibility for training workers in crowd safety.
RB Mayhem marketing---a term made popular by Crowd Management Strategies---should be absent for this year’s Black Friday. Hopefully, retailers, including Best Buy, Toys R Us, Target and other past transgressors will again drive Black Friday retail sales down a safer and more enjoyable path for employees and the public.

But, change is not always easy. At least one retail industry association appears to being having a difficult time getting with the new program. Earlier this year, a commissioned article about retail crowd safety for the International Council of Shopping Centers’ (ICSC) Shopping Centers Today magazine was deep-sixed. The story written by an accomplished writer solicited viewpoints and crowd safety techniques from a number of crowd experts, including Crowd Management Strategies’ Paul Wertheimer. The failure to print the story with its crowd safety tips and guidance, is a disservice to ICSC members and shoppers around the world.

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