Store Hours and Part
How to perform the best scheduling of your business
Perhaps, your store would like
to have some new customers. Not that you have problems with the
old customers, but if you want your business to grow you need
to appeal to more of the residents in your area. It makes sense
that when a store is open Monday thru Saturday from 9 am to 6
pm, the store is offering itself to only 3 groups of people: those
being retired, unemployed, or working evening or weekend shifts. To sell to today's consumer, you have to be open when he or she
has completed their work day as well as be open for their usual
weekend shopping excursions.
Surely, when the homeowner comes
home from work, and has a pressing need for something that you
sell, he or she is going to head for your store to find the item.
And if your store is closed, they will travel to the chain store
at the edge of town or any other store where they can obtain the
necessary items. Granted, they will experience total self-service,
but more importantly, they may find the items they need. And what
happens when they see that nice end cap display of items that are
also sold in your store? Well, there goes that add on sale that
would have been yours. And now that your customer has had the occasion
to experience this chain store, what is there to stop him from going
If your store wants to make
that shopper into a loyal customer, then you must be there when
he or she needs you. And the people that greet the customer must
be able to answer their questions. With that idea in mind, many
stores have changed their store hours to 8 am to 8 pm, Monday
through Saturday, and opening on Sunday afternoons as well. Does
it seem odd to be open these hours, particularly the Sunday hours?
There are ways to make this
transition, as well as promotional ideas that may help you in accepting
the thought of being open
on a Sunday.
To make this change in hours,
gradually change your hours instead of having one drastic and sudden
change. By doing this you will have the necessary time to train
the additional team members (a more positive term for employees).
You will also have the time to experiment with determining the necessary
number of team members to give proper sales floor coverage.
of the problems with this change that you might expect, will be
the resistance by some of your current team members to work a schedule
other than the traditional 9 to 6. Some stores making this transition
have had individuals resign in refusal to work any evenings or
So, why should you be so insistent
on having the team members change their schedule? The answer is
found at the same chain store that we have already mentioned.
many times have you walked in a store during the day time to find
knowledgeable employees, but upon entering the same store during
weekend or evening hours, found that everyone was less than helpful?
Perhaps they are all busy putting up stock, or more often they know
little of the merchandise they stock, if indeed they speak to you
at all. Obviously, they have not been trained to offer customer
service, nor have they been around qualified salespeople to observe
these skilled individuals.
Too often retailers give the
desirable work schedule to the best employees, and give the less
desirable schedule to the part time help. You know, the same part
time position you keep filling every other month with new employees.
The retailers that we interviewed
stated that they had created a much better team by having the entire
team work both day and evening hours. They even rotated the Sunday
You will find that your team
members, as a group, will work better, know each other, and those
that will be the newer team members will be able to gain valuable
product knowledge from those that have been with you for a long
time. You will also find that after this initial change, you will
experience less turnover in personnel.
The payoff to you? It will
be the customer that walks into your store
and says, "you know, whenever I come into your store, I can
always find a friendly face to help me.
And lastly, what about
that promotional idea for the Sunday afternoon opening? One retailer
solved his concerns, and found that his best advertising was the
churches in his community.
If you were to shop in his store
on a Sunday afternoon, and would bring in the bulletin from
your church service, he would ask you to leave the bulletin with
When you made your purchase,
he would write the amount of the purchase on the cover of the bulletin.
At the end of the month, he would total the purchases from each
church and then send a check for 10 percent of the total purchases
to that church.
Of course, each church would
make a point to publish a note about this unique promotion in their
church bulletin and monthly newsletter. Some churches even went
so far as to have the lay reader make an announcement during the
morning services. Absolutely, this is advertising that you can't
The cost for this promotion
is far less than the traditional advertising budget of a retailer,
and the Biblical reference shows that the store owner's heart is
in the right place.