The unofficial beginning to the holiday shopping season, Black Friday compels many people to get out of bed in the middle of the night in the hopes of landing great deals on gifts for their loved ones. The competition to find deals on Black Friday can sometimes get heated. As a result, some shoppers have found themselves in unsafe situations in the past.
Many retailers have taken steps to make the atmosphere in their stores on Black Friday less hectic and more consumer-friendly. Shoppers can follow suit and take the following precautions to ensure this Black Friday is as safe as possible.
• Recognize you might not get everything on your list. Inventory may be limited in regard to sale items on Black Friday. Make a list of the items you hope to buy and where you hope to buy them, ranking each item in terms of importance. Then calmly move from store to store, recognizing that you may not end up with every item on your list. Accepting this ahead of time can make the day seem less hectic and more safe.
• Protect and conceal your purchases. Shoppers might not be as sharp when shopping Black Friday sales in the wee hours of the morning. That could make them more vulnerable to thieves. Protect and conceal purchases at all times. If necessary, bring items to the car after each purchase, making sure to place them in a concealed vehicle trunk where they are not visible to prospective thieves.
• Leave small children at home. While horror stories of Black Friday holiday shoppers stampeding through stores are few and far between, malls may not be the safest places for small children to spend the day after Thanksgiving. Overstressed shoppers running on fumes and long lines at the checkout counters can make things unsafe for small kids and try their patience. Shoppers who plan to shop on Black Friday should leave their small children home with a spouse or relative to avoid accident or injury.
• Park in well-lit areas. Parking can be hard to find on Black Friday. But shoppers should not give in and park far away from stores in poorly lit areas of parking lots. Doing so makes shoppers vulnerable to theft or attack.
• Be attentive in the parking lot. In addition to keeping an eye out for prospective thieves or attackers, Black Friday shoppers should be mindful of motorists in the parking lots. Tired shoppers may be focused on getting home and speed through parking lots. Stay alert to avoid exhausted drivers.
Finding deals might be the ultimate goal of Black Friday, but shoppers also must be mindful of safety when shopping during the unofficial beginning of the holiday shopping season.