With low prices and unbeatable deals, Black Friday is the perfect time to stock up on holiday gifts.
The biggest shopping event of the year has become notorious for its large crowds and eager customers filled with turkey dying to snag the perfect deal ahead of the Christmas season. Retail associates have become experts on how shoppers and employees can practice safety measures while hunting down the best products and respecting those around them.
Bath and Body Works store manager Nicole Wilganowski said her customers have many mediums for shopping on Black Friday this year that will keep them safe and out of harm's way.
“Customers can shop online or buy online and use the ‘pick up in store’ option,” Wilganoaski said. “We will also be running Black Friday deals all week to ensure people don’t feel pressured to all be out on Friday.”
Additionally, Wilganowski said making sure her employees are safe during Black Friday is her No. 1 priority and the store will continue to implement practices to keep those working safe.
“Safety for employees includes [temperature] checks and cleaning continuing to happen. We are also [still] limiting the number of customers in the store,” Wilganoaski said. “[We] will also have some food provided [so] that way associates can eat and unwind a little on their break.”
Wilganoaski said customers should also be understanding of retail employees working on Black Friday, as the holiday is a large-scale event where hundreds of people pour into stores.
“Understand that we are putting out everything we have and moving as quickly as possible,” Wilganoaski said.
Miranda Penick, a retail sales associate who did not want to disclose her employer, said it is important for customers to follow the safety procedures each store puts in place.
Black Friday is like no other day in retail because of how stressful the environment is, Penick said.
“Big sale days like Black Friday carry this whole different energy,” Penick said. “It is important that customers follow the advice and rules set to make sure shopping is safe and happy for everyone.”
Nike sales associate Beverly Grimaldo said customers should be prepared for the large influx of shoppers on Friday and should plan ahead of time to stay safe.
“[Customers] should first make sure that the stores are going to have good deals for them,'' Grimaldo said. “Most of the time, the sale lasts all weekend, which allows the customers the whole weekend to buy what they want. Customers should also stay hydrated and wear comfortable clothes while shopping to have the best shopping experience.”
Black Friday can be a hectic time to work, especially during a pandemic, which is why the proper precautions must be taken to stay safe, even as an employee, Grimaldo said.
“I tend to always carry a mini hand sanitizer with me because working on a sales floor means that I touch a lot of items that consumers are also touching,” Grimaldo said. “I always make sure to keep my distance with consumers, but at the same time, help them find whatever it is that they need assistance with.”
Being at the forefront of it all, Grimaldo said her past Black Friday work experience taught her it's best to stay calm during the rush of customers.
“This year will be my second year working during Black Friday at a retail job,” Grimaldo said. “It is definitely stressful to think about it because stores already get busy on weekends and weekday afternoons alone. I know it is best to stay calm because, at the end of the day, they are just customers who are shopping for their loved ones.”
Additionally, Grimaldo said shoppers should be mindful of employees working during Black Friday as they are sacrificing their holiday time, too.
“I think customers should remember that we are human too, and we would rather be spending time with our family than working a busy holiday weekend. I think that if customers are understanding, it will make their shopping experience better for them and us,” Grimaldo said. “At the end of the day, we are just trying to help them with their needs so they can be happy and so can we.”