Local stores prep for Black Friday crowds

Local stores prep for the biggest shopping day of the year.

Black Friday is one week away and shops across the CSRA are getting ready for the holiday rush.

"I'm not going to let anybody run over me to get to a TV," said shopper Billy Landers as he scrolls through Best Buy looking for deals on electronics.

Landers says since the crowds are so extreme, he tries not to shop on Black Friday.

"When you have a stampede like that it could be dangerous. Especially if you bring kids,"said Landers.

It's been five years since a WalMart employee was killed during a black Friday. He was trampled by shoppers as they rushed through the store entrance. The National Retail Federation estimates that one hundred and forty million people will take part in the shopping festivities this year. Local retailers are taking certain precautions to prevent injuries from happening in the CSRA.

"From a crowd control aspect, we're making sure that the stantions are up, we have our stantions that run around the side of the building. We'll have a police officer as well to help control the crowd," said Ellis Hanks, Best Buy's general manager.

Controlling the crowd is one issue. Protecting the customers that camp out for days is another.  Hanks says that he'll have extra security and even police at his store, starting on Thanksgiving.

"Our security team up front is making sure we let in about fifty people to seventy-five at a time. That way the lines can form and give people enough time to get situated and then let the wave of customers in," said Hanks.

Employees at Target said they're increasing their staff to help manage the masses of people.

"This is the busiest time of the year, so we do bring in additional team members and resources to keep everyone safe. Our number one priority as always is our guests and team members safety," said Lacie Feist, team leader at Aiken's Target store.

Businesses start opening on Thanksgiving - the local stores, say they'll be ready.

The National Crime Prevention Council urges shoppers to have a shopping plan for Black Friday to keep criminals at bay. NCPC said that criminals are on the lookout for vulnerable people during the holidays.

For a list of shopping safety tips, visit: http://www.ncpc.org/about/news/you-need-a-personal-safety-plan-for-black-friday