Are Your Store Hours Effective?

In the world of retail, 9 to 5 isn’t always an option. Sure, you may need to rush home to kid the kids or let the dog out – or for that matter, you may want to close in time to get to yoga or even happy hour. But the reality is, consumers shop after 5. In fact, depending on your target market, many of your consumers may shop primarily after 5. The question is, do your store hours support your consumer shopping needs?

Customers nowadays don’t just go to stores that sell what they want. They shop at places that cater to their entire lifestyle. For an indie business, it may seem daunting to try and keep up with all the demands consumers expect. But altering your store hours to help accommodate their shopping needs may just be your golden ticket to more success. After all, if your store is closed when your target customers are shopping… how is that helping your business?

Before you switch your store hours from 10 to 5 to 12 to 7, first identify what is right for your business. Some suggested ways to do this are identified below:

1. When do the area stores around you open and close? If you are in a community with regulated store hours, it may be out of your control to change your open times. That said, if everyone is suffering from store hours that aren’t in-line with target customer shopping, consider campaigning for a change in the regulated hours. For example, if you are in an area where stores must open at 10 and close at 6, discuss extending your hours at least a couple nights a week to help serve customers who shop in the evening. Not only would this offer a great excuse for customers to shop, but it would welcome some local, deserved press (just remember to send out a press release and contact your local media!).

2. Can you open your store later in order to keep it open later? If you are dead set on only working a certain hours a week or if your morning hours simply aren’t busy enough, considering switching your working hours to ones that start later in the day and end later in the day, as well. For example, 12 to 8 vs. 11 to 7 or even 10 to 6. Consider your demographics and target market. Would these altered hours make sense for you? We certainly understand having a budget in place – including paying for staff or even childcare at home – so consider how you can switch your hours around without increasing your total hours to better support your intended customer.

3. Is there a day you are open you can stay shut entirely? Often, Mondays are popular days for indies to be closed.  While this doesn’t make sense for all retail businesses, it may make sense for yours. Consider what closing for one day a week may mean for you, then use those lost hours and move them into gained, evening hours throughout the week. Your total open time could be equal – it would simply be divided up differently.

What works for one store certainly isn’t the recipe for success for another… so really consider what is best for your business. And don’t be scared to switch things up. As your customers change over time, your store hours may, also. Remember – always have your customers first in mind when considering any store decision. This includes when you open and close.

Retail Minded loves to hear from our readers! Please comment below and share your thoughts! 

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  • retail en mexico
    February 18, 2013

    It is true that having a store demands a lot of time and effort, specially when you are talking abour convenience stores for example that are usually opened for at least 16 hours a day to fulfill the need of their clients.

    It is also true that an hour in a convenience store can represent 10% of the sales of a complete day of work, or that on an specific our you only receive 3 clients when the average is of 10 on hour.

    Retailers must think how much money does the time cost you and based on that define their store hours. Also another important aspect is to asing some specific tasks to the employees of the store when you know that an specific hour doesn’t give you a lot of clients, if you don’t do so in the end you will have boring employees or employees just chating and you will still have to pay their salaries.

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