Snow Professionals Prepare Name-Brand Retail Facilities for Black Friday, Hires Elf to Help Increase Sales

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Snow professionals from CBRE | FacilitySource discuss the importance of snow and ice management for retail facilities during the holidays. Optimal exterior maintenance helps drive foot traffic during Black Friday and increase sales.

Snow plow
Due to the annual economic trend of Black Friday, it’s important for retail facility managers to be prepared for any bad weather that may occur.

Santa’s elves were recently spotted spreading holiday cheer at retail stores as Black Friday approaches. These elves were decorating trees and hanging garland to help attract holiday shoppers.

Yet, a different kind of elf was spotted late at night last week. Reports came in when one eager shopper began setting up her tent to camp out in front of one department store. The shopper saw the elf driving a snow plow, spreading deicer, and shoveling the sidewalks.

After investigating, the shopper confirmed that the individual in question was not one of Santa’s elves. In fact, the shopper had spotted a service provider from CBRE | FacilitySource.

CBRE | FacilitySource, the winner of the PRSM (now Connex) 2019 U.S Supplier of the Year award, provides innovative facility management to leading brands across North America.

When asked why a service provider was spotted out so late at night, Dana Russell, an Exterior Service Delivery Director at CBRE | FacilitySource, explained the importance of exterior maintenance during the holiday shopping season.

"With people camping out in tents, the sidewalks need to remain clear during snowy weather. This way, we can reduce slipping,” Russell said.

Apart from overnight snow and ice management services- which may or may not disturb Black Friday campers while they try to sleep in their tents- service providers must also ensure that parking lots stay clear during the big shopping day.

“I’ve seen instances where a retail store’s crew couldn’t keep up with the snow fall. This led to a messy and slippery parking lot. Typically, the cleanest lots get the most traffic. People won’t pull into a lot that looks icy. If you want to get as many people in the door as you can on Black Friday to drive sales, you have to make sure your lots are clear” Russell added.

According to CBRE | FacilitySource’s meteorologist’s long-range forecast, a large part of the country will experience winter weather around Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

“In my long-range forecast, I am predicting two highly-likely scenarios,” Kevan Teasdale, CBRE | FacilitySource’s meteorologist, said. “It looks likely that either a snow storm will affect the Northern Plains during the holiday, or some Eastern States will experience cold wind with icy precipitation.”

As the above forecast is just a prediction now, Teasdale urges facility managers to stay prepared for bad weather.

“Due to the annual economic trend of Black Friday, it’s important for retail facility managers to be prepared for any bad weather that may occur,” Teasdale said.

Most facility managers know the importance of snow plowing, deicing, and shoveling sidewalks. During the holidays, it’s especially important to ensure all lots are clear and ice-free for safety reasons.

In fact, in 2014 there were approximately 40,000 workplace injuries due to individuals slipping on ice.

The added snow management responsibility during Black Friday doesn’t faze Russell: three of his employees recently became Certified Snow Professionals™ (CSP).

To become certified, one must take and pass a 6-hour test that covers topics such as snow science, snow and ice removal, equipment, and more. Those who pass the certification exam have proven to have exceptional snow knowledge.

One newly-certified employee of CBRE | FacilitySource, Adam Yoder, explained what knowledge he gained from studying for the certification exam.

“To become a CSP, you need to have a lot of snow management knowledge to taking the exam. I studied for 120 hours before taking the exam. I studied topics such as snow science, types of salt, and snow equipment,” Yoder said.

“From a client standpoint, the certification gives us more validity in the marketplace since our associates have proven to have a deep understanding of snow science. With CBRE | FacilitySource's new CSP additions, the company now employees 40% of all CSPs working for a facility management company in North America. This is a great accomplishment,” Chris Jernigan, Senior Vice President of CBRE | FacilitySource, said.

“As a Certified Snow Professional, I can serve our clients even better than before,” said Mitch Payne, one of CBRE | FacilitySource’s CSPs. “The knowledge I gained while preparing for the exam will help me keep retail clients UP. AND RUNNING. during Black Friday.”

About CBRE | FacilitySource

CBRE | FacilitySource provides an innovative, technology-driven, single-source facility management and support solution to leading brands across North America. CBRE | FacilitySource maintains the industry’s largest and most reliable data repository to provide business intelligence, transparency, flexibility, support and the Elite Network of Service Providers to save clients’ money and get the most out of their facilities while offering peace of mind. Established in 2005, FacilitySource was acquired in 2018 by CBRE Group, Inc., the largest commercial real estate services and investment firm in the world. For more information, visit

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Ashley Studer
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