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Wal-Mart Revamps Black Friday Strategy

A year after a Wal-Mart worker was by a massive crowd of bargain-hunting shoppers, the retail giant is implementing new crowd control measures to handle the crush that typically accompanies the day after Thanksgiving – Black Friday.

According to a New York Times report Wednesday, Wal-Mart is taking a page from experts who have managed crowds at the Super Bowl and Olympics. The revamped effort stems from the death of Jdimytai Damour, a temporary store worker crushed by throngs of customers in Valley Stream, N.Y.

Among the measures:

• Most Wal-Mart stores will stay open from Thanksgiving night into Black Friday. In the past, the store closed Thanksgiving and opened its doors in the early morning hours Friday, leading to a huge crowd buildup outside its doors. The store hopes the extra hours will ease the crowd flow.

• To avoid the mad dash toward popular items, the store will have customers line up at product displays and treat them on a first come, first serve basis.

• Since Wal-Mart stores only have one entrance, making crowd control more difficult, workers will be stationed at the front of the store directing customers to the appropriate places.