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.


Two inane things today

#1 – While waiting on hold for an HP audio conference, the recorded message says “you will hear some silence while you wait”. Really? As silence is the absence of sound, how can you hear it?

#2 – Audible has this recorded at the end of each part of a multi-part audiobook: “the file has been broken into multiple parts in order to make the download faster”. Just how would that make it faster? You still have to transfer the same number of bytes. That’s the same logic that says if you cut a pizza into more pieces, you get more.

Kids in restaurants

My wife and I enjoy eating out occasionally (with our current economy, very occasionally). We don’t have kids, so maybe we’re just in the “grumpy old fart” category. Being seated near a family with unruly or loud kids is really irritating, and reflects badly on the parents. I thank my parents for teaching me manners when I was a child. I was not allowed to run around in a restaurant; I was required to remain seated with the rest of the family. It wasn’t a terrible hardship, and somehow I managed to survive. My sister and I were also not allowed to stand / bounce on the seats, throw things, squeal, yell, or otherwise make a nuisance of ourselves. Again, against all odds we survived.

Another thing I have noticed which also reflects badly on parents (not that they seem to care) is after the family has departed, the booth/table frequently looks like a war zone. There are food particles and trash all over the floor, all over the seats, and all over the table. You have to wonder what their house looks like – probably a garbage dump. The waitresses & busboys are not there to do major renovations to each dining area when the pigs (sorry, patrons) leave. If your kids still haven’t learned to put the food in their mouths instead of all over the place, leave them at home. Sheesh! Have some class, people.