Strategies for HR Professionals: Preparing Teams for Black Friday

What is Black Friday?

black friday strategy

Black Friday is the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States. Employees typically have the day off on Black Friday. On this day, retail outlets and various online shopping websites offer substantial discounts and deals on their products for customers. This day also signifies the commencement of the holiday shopping season in America. The primary objective of providing discounts and deals to customers is to boost the sales of their products. Additionally, the Black Friday sale is also a barometer to gauge the economic condition of the country. Black Friday is also referred to as the “day of shopping” due to the significant amount of money spent on the sales. It stands out as one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

When is Black Friday?

black friday strategy

The day after Thanksgiving is commonly known as Black Friday. This year, Black Friday falls on November 24, 2023. This day signals the start of the holiday shopping season. Interestingly, the origins of this holiday are darker than one might think. The term “Black Friday” gained prominence after the U.S. gold market crashed on September 24, 1869. During that time, two Wall Street financiers seized the opportunity to buy as much gold as possible, anticipating a significant profit when prices surged. However, their scheme was exposed, leading to widespread bankruptcy.

This historical event is often linked to the retail context in the United States. In the year following the gold market crash, retailers experienced substantial losses throughout the year. However, the day after Thanksgiving proved to be a turning point, with sales increasing during the holiday shopping month, bringing them back into profitability. This is why many well-known brands offer substantial discounts and deals on their products on the Friday after Thanksgiving, commonly referred to as “Black Friday Sale.”

Best practices HRs can follow to manage retail employees on Black Friday

black friday hr strategy

Here are the best practices HRs can follow to manage retail employees on Black Friday:

1. Improve communication practices

HR professionals can encourage employees to enhance their communication practices. Given the large crowds on Black Friday, effective interaction among employees and with customers becomes crucial. Embracing these practices ensures positive and clear communication, preventing potential issues before they escalate. Furthermore, HRs can establish a set of guidelines for employees to follow when engaging with customers.

2. Implement adequate safety arrangements

On Black Friday, markets are brimming with numerous shoppers, heightening the risk of various incidents. Mishaps can arise from both the customer’s and the seller’s perspectives. Here are some safety measures HRs can proactively implement to prevent mishaps:

  • Develop contingency plans to address emergencies effectively
  • Issue safety announcements to customers during peak crowd times.
  • Formulate strategies to ensure that the store restricts the number of customers at any given time.
  • Recruit trained employees with the capability to manage large crowds.

3. Develop an effective inventory strategy

It is crucial to establish a comprehensive inventory plan for all products. HRs should guarantee that the store has ample inventory available during the Black Friday sale. If necessary, they should arrange for additional inventory in advance. Customer satisfaction is key, and frustration arises when customers cannot find what they are seeking. If, by any chance, a particular item that a customer requests is out of stock, handle the situation positively. HRs should also ensure the optimal placement of products in the store, facilitating easy access for customers to find what they need.

4. Offer incentives to employees

Engaged and motivated employees tend to excel in the workplace. HRs can implement incentive programs to keep employees motivated and content. There are several strategies to achieve this:

  • Award bonuses or incentives to boost employee motivation.
  • Arrange treats or parties for employees to make them feel appreciated.
  • Distribute gift cards to acknowledge and reward employees.
  • Consider providing overtime pay as an incentive for employees who go above and beyond.

5. Hire in advance

Employers should proactively hire additional staff in advance to make the necessary preparations for Black Friday. Last-minute hiring can result in various issues. Bringing on the necessary workforce ahead of time offers several advantages to managers: identifying competitive and well-suited employees for the organization, providing necessary training if required, and devising action plans for the busy day. Furthermore, business owners and HR managers can consider hiring temporary or contractual employees specifically for the Black Friday period.

6. Establish achievable goals

HR professionals should allocate goals to each employee to gauge the overall success of the organization. These goals should be fair and attainable, tailored to individual roles and positions. Goals may differ based on designation; for instance, one employee’s goal might focus on boosting sales growth, while another’s could involve ensuring proper arrangements. Ultimately, monitor both the overall success of the organization and individual goal achievement.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

HRs can perform a number of tasks in retail industry such as designing payout and bonuses for employees, designing strategy, ensuring employee engagement etc.

Companies can take number of steps to prepare for Black Friday. These steps include offering deals and discounts on their products and services, hire additional staff if required, run marketing campaigns. 

To promote a deal on Black Friday one can run marketing campaigns, collaborate with famous influencers, promote sales early etc.

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