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As Black Friday Approaches, NRF Releases Crowd Management Guidelines for Retailers

View NRF’s Crowd Management Guidelines
Read a blog post from NRF's Joe LaRocca about crowd control
Download audio of media briefing with NRF's Rhett Asher and Joe LaRocca discussing retailers holiday preparedness plans

For Immediate Release
Kathy Grannis (202) 783-7971

As Black Friday Approaches, NRF Releases Crowd Management Guidelines for Retailers

Washington, November 9, 2009 – As one of the busiest shopping days of the year approaches, retailers are focusing on one key component of their holiday plans: crowd control. With the help of several retailers and their loss prevention teams, the National Retail Federation has released Crowd Management Guidelines in addition to a step-by-step checklist for retailers planning for holiday crowds. The set of guidelines also addresses unexpected emergency management of crowds.

“With Black Friday upon us, retailers are reviewing their contingency plans to make sure store associates and security are well prepared for the big day,” said Joe LaRocca, Senior Asset Protection Advisor, NRF. “Whether it’s the holiday season, a celebrity appearance or an unplanned situation that requires security, retailers are constantly planning and preparing for even the most chaotic situations.”

The guidelines outline the following essential components of a crowd control and/or emergency plan, including:

•    Promotional/holiday sales and special events
•    Sales and events versus emergency management crowd controls
•    Mall-based retailers versus non mall-based retailers
•    Crowd management guidelines references and contingency plans

In addition to the outlined assessments, the guidelines also offer specific checklists for retailers to use when working on a crowd control plan. Event type, staffing and training, communication, physical and environmental considerations and line formations are among a few of the factors that retailers should take into account for their emergency and crowd control plans.

The National Retail Federation is the world’s largest retail trade association, with membership that comprises all retail formats and channels of distribution including department, specialty, discount, catalog, Internet, independent stores, chain restaurants, drug stores and grocery stores as well as the industry’s key trading partners of retail goods and services. NRF represents an industry with more than 1.6 million U.S. retail establishments, more than 24 million employees - about one in five American workers - and 2008 sales of $4.6 trillion. As the industry umbrella group, NRF also represents more than 100 state, national and international retail associations. www.nrf.com.