Store hours

It never ceases to amaze me how dumb retail business owners can be. If you choose to be in the retail business, then I’d think that you would want to maximize your profits by being open when people are likely to come into your store and give you money. After all, isn’t that the point of having the business in the first place? Apparently, this logic is lost on many retail business owners.

Know your clientèle: In this day and age, especially with our depressed economy, more couples are both working, and there are less “stay-at-home-spouse” scenarios. Retail hasn’t caught on to this fact. What is the point of having your store open Monday through Friday 9am-6pm, when nobody will come in and spend money because they are all at work?  Saturday seems like a prime shopping day, and Sunday ought to be also, except a lot of stores are closed, or have short hours.  This makes no sense.  If you want to maximize profits, be OPEN when people can shop.  As store employees need time off too, then close 1 or 2 days during the week instead.  Many Chinese food restaurants are closed on Monday for just this reason.  Smart cookies!  The one exception to this would be stores that cater exclusively to retirees. Obviously, these people can shop any time, so if that is your client base, then keeping “regular office hours” is fine.

Pay attention:  This weekend, I was in Lake Arrowhead village around 9am.  It seemed that only one restaurant was paying attention and noticed the long weekend.  As you might expect, there was a huge line of hungry people waiting to eat breakfast.  How fantastic for that restaurant, and you can bet they made a bundle.  What about the other restaurants?  They apparently were sticking with their normal weekday schedule, and didn’t bother to open until 11am.  Talk about “a day late and a dollar short”!  It makes good business sense to look at the calendar once in a while and ask yourself  if adjustments are necessary to maximize potential profits.

I have mentioned this to a couple of retail owners I personally know, and usually the reaction is “well I want to take the weekend off too, you know”.  OK, good for you, then you need to choose a line of work that doesn’t require you to be available when other people are not working.  Retail clearly is not a good choice for you, unless you don’t really want to succeed.

What affect does this have in the long run?  Personally, I find that rather than hunt around for somebody who is open when I’m not at work, I tend these days to just order things on-line.  The more inconvenient it becomes to utilize stores in person, the harder it’s going to be for them to survive as I see this trend becoming widespread.  People want convenience, and will vote with their wallets.