When Are You Open?
Its 3 weeks and counting until Black Friday. This year more large retailers are starting their sales at 12:00AM on Friday the 25th. And while I’m not suggesting you do that, maybe it is time to look at your store hours over the holiday season.
Are you open hours that are convenient for your customers? Or convenient for you? The days of mom being home and able to shop during the weekday are long gone. And a lot of times weekends are taken up with kids’ soccer games or other commitments. So look around you and see what hours other local retailers are open. If you are not open at night during the week, can you pick one or two nights – Thursday & Friday maybe – to stay open until 8 or 9P during the holidays. If you’re not there, customers will just move on to someone who is open.
Get people into your store on that extra night you are open by doing something special. Have free gift wrapping and cider & cookies. Donate a portion of your profits to charity one night. Sponsor a "Giving Tree" for foster kids. Ask for food donations and give a 10% discount.
Competition is high for the consumer’s dollar. You can’t compete with the big guys on $, nor do you want to. But you might need to stay open a few extra hours so customers can get to your store. In my case, I’m an early morning shopper – so I can bet the crowds. On Sunday mornings, a lot of small retailers don’t open until noon. By then I’m done shopping and on my way home. So during the holidays maybe you need to look at opening a little earlier on the weekends.
Remember the whole objective is to make it easy for a customer to shop with you and keep them coming back.
Have a good weekend.