Worst Case-Wednesday: How to Evade a Stampede of Shoppers

Posted by Justin Boyer

After stuffing yourself guiltlessly on Thanksgiving, you must prepare your battle strategy for Black Friday. Every year, you run the risk of having your battle plans thwarted by a mad frenzy of shoppers. If you’re at Costco, there is also the added risk of being crushed flat by those very heavy, Hummer-like shopping carts.

I know I’ll need some good tactics to help stealthily weed through crowds of frenzied shoppers, and try to snatch any remaining boxes of the new Nintendo Wii-U.

With this advice from The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Holidays by David Borgenicht and Joshua Piven, you can even evade the craziest flock of rampant Wal-Mart shoppers on Black Friday!

How to Evade a Stampede of Shoppers

Stay Focused and visualize your goal: Do not freeze in front of the pack; do not wait for the crowd of shoppers to get close before you make your move. Reacting early and decisively in crowds offers your best shot at survival.

Avoid Herd Mentality: Animals travel in herds because there is safety in numbers, and the safest place is at the center of the pack, insulated from predators. Avoid the temptation to join the herd-you cannot shop if you cannot see the merchandise.

Do not move toward the incoming herd: You risk being trampled if you try to thread your way through a stampede. If you are unable to get out of the way of a fast-moving crowd, bring your arms in tightly around any packages you are carrying , turn your body in the direction of the crowd, and let yourself be carried along as you work your way to the outside of the herd.

Maximize your movement options: If you need to negotiate a crowd, stay on the edge. Use the space near the walls to gain a few extra yards of room. Most shoppers will leave at least several feet between themselves and surrounding walls. This will give you room to maneuver.

Be Aware: When heading into a shopping situation where crowds may be present, wear proper shoes. Open-toed shoes offer minimal protection for your feet, and high heels will restrict your mobility. Select shoes with flat heels. Rubber-soles provide better traction.