Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Open For Business?

It is 5:26pm as I type this.  My business is still open a little bit longer.  But the local appliance store where I need to go to get the replacement filters I ordered will be closed before I publish this post.

They won't be open this weekend when I have time off either.

Guess it is a lunch hour trip one day this week.

Are your hours designed around the lifestyle of your customers or your own life?  Are they built to accommodate the primary shoppers for your category?  Or are they designed around the old 9 to 5 work day just because that's how you always did it?

If you sell large-ticket items like appliances that might require a joint decision by a couple shopping, you may need weekend and evening hours.
If you sell primarily to the bread-winner, you may need weekend and evening hours.
If you sell primarily to working folk, you may need weekend and evening hours.
If you are located in a theater or restaurant district with lots of evening traffic, you may need weekend and evening hours.
If you are located in a region with lots of two-income families, you may need weekend and evening hours.

Hey, I'm guilty, too.  My store is open 7 days a week, but only one night past 6pm.  We may all need to think outside the box in regards to our hours of operation.

Closed Tuesdays but open Sundays?
Open 7am to 2pm and 4pm to 9pm?
Open Noon to 9pm daily?

Our customers are going to the Internet or the big box stores because of one main reason - convenience.  And the main convenience is time of day.  I work until 6pm.  I get home at 6:30pm, eat dinner, help get my boys to bed.  Now it is 9pm and most of the stores are closed.  Yeah, the Internet looks inviting at that time.

If you believe you are losing market share to the big box stores and the Internet, maybe it is time to rethink your hours.  I know I am rethinking mine.

-Phil Wrzesinski
www.PhilsForum.com

PS Some of my mall store friends who are required to stay open until 9pm lament that their type of customer isn't out in the evening.  That may be true.  It also may be a symptom of the perception of the mall being full of teenagers in the evening.  The topic still merits discussion for your business.

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