By Abby Reed
MIDLAND/ODESSA - Black Friday is quickly approaching and local stores are beefing up on merchandise. They are also beefing up security. One local store says they have had to triple their security staff, just to meet the demands of this holiday shopping season.
Most area retailers are getting merchandise ready for store shelves and preparing their cashiers and staff on how to handle the huge number of shoppers expected to turn out this Black Friday. They're also equipping themselves with extra security to make sure those shoppers aren't trying to make off with a five finger discount.
Managers at the Target store in Odessa, say they have had to hire three times the amount of security as they had last year. They're also relying on their eyes in the sky - dome shaped surveillance cameras to make sure shoppers aren't getting grabby. For many of their electronic items, they are relying on gadgets, which sound out very loud alarms, if someone tries to snatch and grab.
"We have an internal investigation team, and that's here within the building, and they have an office and they're able to see what's going on, and watch for specific activity, we've also got a remote investigations team, and that's a team that's outside of the building and they monitor certain stores and that keeps an eye out for theft," Target Manager, Lisa Bennett, said.
It's a similar story over at the Best Buy in Midland. The store is also relying on surveillance cameras to curb would-be shop lifters. They also have extra security - or loss prevention officers - on hand to keep an eye on things.
"Everybody is trained, people on the floor are trained, our associates are trained, our loss prevention are trained. Everybody is trained in loss prevention or asset protection, from management, all the way down to our seasonal help," Best Buy Manager, Pat Tillman, said.
This year, both retailers say they are expecting a large turnout of shoppers on Black Friday. Especially, because locally, our economy has been kinder than the rest of the countries. In general, both stores have seen increases in shopping traffic this year, and they expect Black Friday to be no different.