The big day is just about a week away, and many facility managers are busy preparing. Not by thawing a turkey or or peeling potatoes for Thanksgiving, but for the shopping frenzy that comes after: Black Friday.
As retailers prepare for Black Friday, investing in additional staff and inventory is expected. The lesser-known measures taken by retailers on this highly anticipated shopping day have to do with “brick and mortar preparedness.” FacilitySource, a national tech-enabled facilities management company, has created an infographic which showcases in detail how a retail facility gears up for Black Friday to make sure the doors are open and lights stay on – literally.
“According to industry experts, an estimated 156 million Americans are expected to partake in Black Friday shopping, spending an estimated $682 billion. It is a high-stakes revenue generator for our clients and retailers in general,” said Bill Hayden, CEO, FacilitySource. “We believe the unsung hero on this busy shopping day is the facility manager, as they draw upon technology and data to start preparing their physical retail locations for the increase customer foot traffic months in advance. The outcome is good for business and good for customers.”
Capitalizing on extended Black Friday hours begins with proactively managing behind-the-scenes preparations to ensure each store’s physical location is ready. FacilitySource’s data points to some interesting trends. For example, there is a nine percent increase in security maintenance requests leading up to Black Friday, as retailers ensure their automated entry doors and security gates remain open and unlocked during extended hours. The data also shows a 10 percent increase in lighting maintenance requests, as lighting automation systems have to be adjusted for stores staying open outside their normal operating hours.
“For most retailers, it’s not as simple as flipping a switch to keep the lights or heat on throughout Black Friday weekend,” said Hayden. “If retailers don’t have their key elements, such as bathrooms or escalators, up and running, customers will create a poor perception of the brand and may abandon their purchases, ultimately affecting a retailer’s bottom line.”