Fort Campbell shoppers can now shop safer for the holidays with extended Black Friday hours and events leading up to Thanksgiving Day.
The Exchange kicked off its 12 Weeks of Black Friday Savings over Labor Day weekend, spreading out promotions throughout the fall to manage foot traffic and keep military Families safe. New deals each Friday allowed shoppers time to shop for weeks instead of one big Black Friday event.
“The 12 weeks of savings have helped maintain social distancing protocols and provide a safe environment for shoppers,” said Steve Shaw, Fort Campbell Exchange general manager. “Many of the other stores outside of the installation have started their holiday shopping earlier to prevent the mass rush of people. With that said, we’re still offering a Black Friday sale day, but it’s a lot more scaled back than in previous years.”
Customers who still want the traditional Black Friday experience on Nov. 27 will find safe, sanitized and secure shopping on post.
“We still have the expectation of a higher foot traffic than on a normal Friday,” Shaw said. “We probably will reach maximum occupancy within the first few hours, but with those expectations we are also going to be enforcing social distancing and wiping carts down as much as possible. The capacity number fluctuates based on the [Health Protection Condition] level, right now it’s 225 people for HPCON Bravo. Our strategy is maintaining the 225, we’ll have someone at the door doing headcount, and if we hit that number we’ll hold a line and as someone leaves, we’ll let someone else enter, and we’ll do our best to keep Families together.”
Exchange employees also are continually wiping down high touch areas, such as checkout counters and cash registers and hand sanitizer is dispersed throughout the store.
“We’re going to make sure we have clean aisles without clutter so customers can move freely throughout the store and the mall to help with social distancing,” Shaw said. “We’re going to be doubling our sanitation efforts for Black Friday. We’re going to be sanitizing and disinfecting even more frequently throughout the day. We ask customers be mindful, especially for some customers who cannot wear face masks, and do your best to social distance and utilize hand sanitizer to help make a great shopping experience for everybody.”
Shaw said the multiple savings events on the Fridays leading up to Black Friday have had a good response from customers and will help reduce the number of customers waiting in the store on Black Friday. During Black Friday weekend, the Exchange’s “Take-A-Ticket” program also will help manage crowds seeking in-demand items.
“The Take-A-Ticket program applies to our doorbusters, these items are limited quantity,” Shaw said. “Starting today, we’re advertising our doorbusters to our customers and letting customers know if they come to the store before Black Friday to take a ticket, they can come on Black Friday and go up to one of the counters and pick up their doorbuster item. By doing this, this keeps people from mass rushing areas of the store or risking run out of the item before they can pick it up.”
Contactless shopping options such as curbside delivery, buying online and pick up in-store service also are available and encouraged for customers who want to avoid lines or crowds, Shaw said.
“These items are still available online for the same prices and deals,” Shaw said. “We’ve mostly went away from print fliers due to supply chain issues. What we’ve done is gone with more up to date digital fliers, so if you go to our website, we have an up-to-date weekly flier of items that should be in store.”
Shaw said the opportunity to provide Black Friday shopping and spread holiday cheer is important to him and his team.
“For me, it’s more than just selling something, it’s helping to continue a tradition most people have grown up with and to help kick off the holiday season,” he said. “Though it may be different than a Black Friday a few years ago, we still want to let our community know the Exchange is still here for you and we want to celebrate with you.”
For more information about the Exchange, visit https://www.shopmyexchange.com.