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    Is it better to have regular store hours or close later/earlier certain days?

    Do you think it's better to have the same hours every night, easier for customers to remember, or have some nights be closed earlier and others be closed later?

    A: This questioner went on, 'We're on a street with some other businesses close at four or five...'

    That always gets me angry, and if you're a downtown association, that should be your number one pet peeve, that retailers close because it's inconvenient for them to stay open.

    I live in a little village in upstate New York about two hours north of New York City, and this little historic downtown has a little gift store that closes as the one restaurant opens and I'm just like, wow, does that make sense at all?

    Especially when you're right across from the restaurant. Of course not.

    Because the problem is that when people could see that you're open and want to walk in, you're closed.

    I always say think like a customer, not an employee. You need to be consistent on your hours and not close earlier than posted. 

    Most shoppers are going to have jobs and they're going to be working from 9 to 5 or 6, and if they can't stop by on their way home and you're only open 10 to 4 on Saturdays or you're closed Sundays, how are you ever going to compete against Amazon or anyone else?

    Store hours are a big deal and the number one reason downtown businesses struggle. You have to bind together and make sure at least 70% of retailers and restaurants on your street are open seven days a week. Without that commitment, you are settling for crumbs when you could have a whole feast. And when you're open, you better not be grousing how it's not busy or this is stupid. 

    So customer focus says, 'Be open when customers need you.' To put a finer point on your question, I don't say you should close earlier, I say you should stay open later whenever you can and not just once or twice or for holidays.

     See also, How To Determine If Running Your Store Employees Too Lean Is Affecting Retail Sales

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