Local retailers prepare for a safe Black Friday

(Source: MGN Online)
(Source: MGN Online)

First there's the wait and then come the sales. As Black Friday approaches, many local retailers are already getting ready and for them, it's safety first.

This year marks the 5th anniversary of a worker who was trampled to death during a Black Friday event. Best Buy store manager Mark Lanier says his staff is prepared for a heavy traffic on Black Friday.

"Employee safety is a big concern for us," says Lanier. "By maintain how we let the customers in and flow that in smoothly, everything runs without a hitch."

Lanier says his staff went over various safety procedures. To make sure things run smoothly, Lanier says they will be ticketing merchandise so they'll know how much they have. They will be given the tickets who want particular items before doors open.

"Once all of those tickets are gone," says Lanier. "That also maintains the control so it's not a mad rush of people to come in and grab something like that."

But will there be people rushing out on Thanksgiving Day to shop? Due to a shorter shopping period, many retailers are opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day as opposed to the day after. One KPLC viewer says she doesn't like how store are starting to open earlier and earlier every year. She says she refuses to come out to shop on Thanksgiving Day.

For those who will be shopping, the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office will be at various mobile command centers to ensure employee and customer safety.

"We want people to call us," says CPSO Special Services Commander Matt Vezinot. "We want them to ask 'Will you wait by this entrance while I go get some stuff and walk out to my car?' That's what we're there for."

The CPSO mobile centers will be at Prien Lake Mall as well as the Target shopping center.  Vezinot says CPSO will also be monitoring convenient stores during the holidays.

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