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Black Friday: Five Lessons Retailers Can Learn from Professional Athletes

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‘Tis ALMOST the season. Regardless of when your store opens its doors to Black Friday shoppers, it will likely mean the start of a busy retail season. With the National Retail Federation anticipating a rise in holiday sales this year, Cintas Corporation (NASDAQ:CTAS) today identified five key lessons retailers can take from professional athletes to get ready for the busiest revenue period of the year.

“Experienced Black Friday shoppers are ready to block and tackle, better than many offensive and defensive linemen,” said Dave Mesko, Senior Director of Marketing, Cintas Corporation. “However, regardless of what types of shoppers your store attracts, you want to make sure your team is ready to go the distance this holiday season.”

Cintas identifies the following key lessons retailers can learn from professional athletes:

  1. Conditioning is critical. Professional athletes are in peak physical condition. Similarly, retailers need to prepare the store so it’s ready to compete at the highest level. Make sure all building repairs are made, windows and floors are sparkling, staff uniforms are clean and the store is ready for the surge in traffic.
  2. Practice. In order to refine their skills for game day execution, professional athletes practice-a lot. Run your team through drills and anticipate different scenarios that might arise during the holiday season. How will you address traffic flows and longer lines? What will you do if there’s a snow storm? By anticipating possible situations ahead of time and practicing with your team, you can make sure your store is ready for any seasonal curveball.
  3. Prepare your equipment. A football player wouldn’t show up to a game without pads, so retailers should similarly make sure all of their equipment is stocked and ready to go. From toilet paper to cleaning chemicals, floor matting to first-aid equipment, make sure your facilities have enough supplies to account for the additional traffic. In addition to preparing adequate inventory, make sure all your equipment is ready to go. For example, by clearing or jetting older drain lines, you can limit the potential for a flood in your restroom.
  4. Be ready for injuries. Just as professional athletes have trainers and doctors on the sidelines, retailers should also have a first line of defense ready in case of an emergency. Make sure your first-aid cabinets are stocked with adequate supplies to limit the impact of an emergency. You can also make sure employees have basic first-response training so they know what to do in an emergency situation.
  5. Keep the momentum in your favor. Just like in any athletic competition, the momentum of an event can largely determine the outcome. By limiting interruptions such as broken doors, drain backups or major spills, retailers can make sure that things flow smoothly throughout the day. Have a partner in place who can resolve issues quickly and minimize the impact of any disruption that occurs.

“Once Black Friday hits, all eyes will be on retailers,” added Mesko. “By taking a few cues from the professionals, Cintas is here to make sure retailers are ready for the event and positioned for victory.”

For more information on Cintas services, please visit

About Cintas Corporation:

Headquartered in Cincinnati, Cintas Corporation provides highly specialized services to businesses of all types primarily throughout North America. Cintas designs, manufactures and implements corporate identity uniform programs, and provides entrance mats, restroom cleaning and supplies, tile and carpet cleaning, promotional products, first aid, safety, fire protection products and services. Cintas is a publicly held company traded over the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol CTAS and is a component of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

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