Best practices for crowd management - Retail Council of Canada
Loss Prevention

Best practices for crowd management

October 20, 2021

Effective crowd management has to be on the minds of retailers for this upcoming holiday shopping season.

Here are some useful suggestions that will be particularly helpful in preparing for the busy holiday shopping season:

  • Proactively plan and prepare for events and communicate the plan well in advance to the front line
  • Have an updated emergency plan in place that addresses possible scenarios such as overcrowding, aggressive shoppers, violence, and unexpected natural disasters. Communicate and practice these scenarios leading up to the holiday season
  • Use signage, stanchions/barriers, public announcements, and tickets or wristbands to control crowds and for limited items
  • Create space by separating sale items throughout the store to disperse the crowd and better manage traffic flow
  • Identify and train the employees who will be responsible to communicate with customers and attempt to resolve issues. Although this traditionally falls to management, having additional people trained for the holiday season will help avoid escalated situations
  • If large crowds are expected arrange for additional security personnel or paid duty officers if the event calls for it
  • Review contact information and ensure it is up to date and readily available to those who need it. Ensure there is an escalation path for who to contact in the event of the various scenarios that can occur
  • Start the additional training now.  Whatever manner you use to communicate to your employees start adding the holiday tips. If you repeat it a few times before the season, the likelihood it will be retained increases greatly

Visit the RCC LP Hub for helpful information on de-scalation tips and preventing workplace violence.