Tragedy at the Mall

Doug Fleener at the Retail Contrarian blog comments today on our post from yesterday about being prepared for disasters. Reflecting on yesterday’s shootings at the Westroads Mall in Omaha, he writes,

"Mike Buckley of Tacony Corporation has a retail blog called MINE Your Own Business. Yesterday, before the shooting occurred, I was reading a new post of his called “Be Prepared”. Mike was sharing some resources for companies to prepare for – and recover from – disasters. The first sentence is almost haunting now. ‘Disasters come in all sizes and shapes.’

"As I was reading it I was thinking that I would link to the post so to remind retailers that they need to have a disaster plan for every store. It’s important that managers know what to do in case of tornado, fire, or god forbid the unthinkable, something like what happened in Omaha.

"Every retail organization should review its disaster policies and procedures with their stores and ensure that every employee knows what to do if a disaster occurs. Yes it’s the holiday season. Yes the stores are incredibly busy. But believe me, your employees are already discussing what happened in Omaha. It doesn’t matter where they live and work, this event has hit home for them. They will truly appreciate knowing that you care enough to talk with them about the unspeakable."

Normally we’d be ecstatic to be mentioned in a such a highly regarded blog, but there’s no way to see yesterday’s events as anything but a gut-wrenching tragedy.  The fact that something like this happened on the very day that we posted about disaster preparedness is more than a little scary.  Of course,  a mass-murderer opening fire in a crowded mall was not one of the disasters that we had in mind. 

Lives have been forever changed by one individual’s unexplainable actions.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims and to everyone involved.  Retailing and shopping shouldn’t be hazardous occupations.  Especially during this normally happy time of the year, we shouldn’t have to fear for our lives every time we leave the house.  It’s all very sad and confusing. 

I agree with Doug.  If you haven’t already, you should take the time to discuss yesterday’s events with your staff.  Let them get their fears out in the open, and discuss what you would do is such a thing were to happen in your store. 

You can read Doug’s post and our response here.

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