Keep Retail Store Hours Long to Extend Success
Tip #398 - The Chicken or the Egg
Dear Tip of the Weeker,
In keeping with this week's theme, here are some random chicken jokes...
Q. What Do You Get When You Cross A Chicken With A Frightened Scuba Diver?
A. Chicken Of The Sea.
Q. What Do You Get When You Cross A Chicken And A Pit Bull?
A. Just The Pit Bull.
Q. What Do You Get When You Cross A Chicken With A Bell?
A. An Alarm Cluck.
Q. What Do You Get When You Cross A Chicken With A Dog?
A. A Hen That Lays Pooched Eggs.
Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming...
On our Facebook page this week (2/19/10) we posted the following question:
"Compare and contrast: on Valentine's weekend a candy store owner who extended hours on both Saturday AND Sunday vs. a card store owner who shortened hours on Saturday and was closed Sunday. Which one wins local and national awards for excellence?"
The answer is, of course, easy to guess.
And so are the objections:
- "But I can't afford any extra help so I can't stay open late."
- "But no one comes into my store in the evenings."
- "But my customers don't shop with me on Sunday."
- "But I won't make any money if I keep those hours."
It's a classic, "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" dilemma.
Which comes first: having tons of raving fans who buy so much from you that you can afford to hire lots of great quality employees; or being open whenever your customers want to shop, even if it's inconvenient for you?
Which comes first: customers who will consistently shop with you on evenings and weekends; or great marketing that lets your customers know you are open when they want to shop?
It would be soooooo nice if they were simultaneous, wouldn't it?
But in this "chicken or the egg" situation, it's clearly up to you to make the first move. You have to be open before the customer can shop with you. You have to put their needs, wants and desires ahead of your own for them to become true-blue, 100% loyal, fanatical customers of your store.
Certainly, extending your hours may be a bit painful at first. You'll have to train your customers to remember that you are open later and on Sundays. You may even have to work some extra hours yourself.
You may have to take it in phases, first opening one or two late nights to generate some extra sales then slowly expanding your store hours.
You probably won't make a ton of extra money the first week or the first month you're open on Sundays. But stick with it, and the customers will come!
The eventual payoff in ultra-loyal customers and dramatically higher sales is huge. You may even win some local and national awards like the candy store owner.Wishing you great sales and lots of fun,