Holiday shopping season is one of the most exciting times in retail. Amidst the sales and door-busting deals, your customers’ safety should be a priority in seasonal planning.
Eric White is an Account Executive for Tyco Integrated Security, and was a recent guest on Focus on Suppliers. We had the chance to sit down with him and discuss protecting customers, product and family as shopping becomes hectic over the next few weeks.
It’s for the Kids and Their Safety
One of the biggest concerns for shopping parents is getting separated from their small children. White advises that preparedness starts with early preparation.
“It starts before that event ever happens,” White says. “The most important thing to do is make sure your child understands what they should do in that situation. Build confidence in your child that they can handle it. For very young children, that can be a very scary moment.”
When talking with children about getting lost in a store, how young is too young to have the conversation? “That’s for the parent to decide,” he continues. “However, I think if they’re old enough to walk away, they’re old enough to have the talk. Advise them to walk up to a store employee and ask for help; somebody with a badge on, or a police officer. It’s their confidence that will carry them through that scary situation.
“They have to know it’s okay to walk behind the desk at the store and say ‘I need help’ and know not to stand out in the parking lot. At an early age, they need to know not to get in a car with a stranger offering to call their parent.”
Technology Complements the Teaching
Tyco Retail Solutions keeps up with technology trends in safety and retail. White recommends parents stay on top of their children’s whereabouts with innovations in tech.
“If your child is old enough to have a cell phone, you can track that cell phone all day, every day,” he advises. “It’s really easy to do. Just turn that GPS on. For little children, there are bracelets that will track them through technology. However, as great as technology is, it doesn’t replace the conversation you have so they know what to do if you get separated.”
Every Shopper Deserves a Safe Environment
Parents want to keep their children safe, and retailers should feel the same about their customers. White goes on to show that keeping it clean results in keeping it safe.
“For retailers, it’s hard to get clean, organized, and full shelves around the holidays,” he observes. “Plus, it’s really hard to keep them that way! Once the chaos hits of the holiday shopping season, the shelves can be hard to manage. But there are a number of important reasons to keep the shelves neat and organized.
“First and foremost, it’s really about the safety of the customers in your store. It’s a time when something can be on the floor causing a trip and fall. Kids can be climbing around in the shopping cart, excited about the holiday. Items can fall off the shelf.” The cleanliness and organization of the aisle makes for a safer shopping experience.
Clean, Organized Shelves can Deter Theft
A better looking aisle does more than keep the shopper safe. It can also make them think twice about shoplifting. White goes on to explain the impact of an organized aisle on a would-be thief.
“Obviously, retailers will sell more if the shelves are full and they have what the customer wants in stock,” White says. “Interestingly, the mindset of someone who looks at a shelf that’s clean and full is different that someone who looks at a shelf that’s chaotic and unorganized.
“Deviant behavior becomes easier to rationalize in a chaotic environment. If someone has a tendency to think about taking an item without paying for it, they’ll be more prone to do it in an environment that looks like a mess. In a chaotic store, they don’t feel like anyone will see them take an item.”
For more tips on keeping your family, business, and products safe this holiday season, check out Eric White’s complete interview on Focus on Suppliers.