Opening Hours???

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by Stevie Wonder, Sep 12, 2013.

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  1. Stevie Wonder

    Stevie Wonder UKBF Contributor

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    Like many retailers I currently open my shop on six days a week, roughly between 8am and 5pm.

    I am currently (or more like continually!) looking at cutting overheads and have thought about cutting our opening hours.

    The question of course is, would this affect trade if we were to close for say, a half day per week?

    Has anybody tried this, and if so what was the result? I know that this is something that will depend on what we are selling, but it is a consideration for all B&M retailers.

    Does anybody do a half day anymore, or is this a thing of the past?
    Posted: Sep 12, 2013 By: Stevie Wonder Member since: Mar 5, 2011
  2. Scott-Copywriter

    Scott-Copywriter Verified Business ✔️

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    The only way you can find out is to do trial runs and measure the results. Individual businesses are far too distinct for there to be a single rule which applies to all.

    If closing for large periods of time does cause a drop in trade, then you could try reducing the amount of hours you're open. For example, if trade is very quiet between 8am-9am or 4pm-5pm, then try shaving off an hour or two per day.
    Posted: Sep 12, 2013 By: Scott-Copywriter Member since: May 10, 2006
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  3. TotallySport

    TotallySport Verified Business ✔️

    6,312 990
    it depends, where I live companies close for half a day on wednesday, it works for some business like hair dressers, but I don't think the computer repair shop closes.

    however some of the restuarants keep changing their opening hours and they have lost trade and reputation for not being consistant.
    Posted: Sep 12, 2013 By: TotallySport Member since: Jul 18, 2007
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  4. Faevilangel

    Faevilangel Website Critic

    7,564 2,407
    A shop in our town does this, they close Thursdays and Sundays, there is a big sign on the door and they do warn people.

    Not sure if it has affected business etc but they have been doing this for the last couple of years
    Posted: Sep 12, 2013 By: Faevilangel Member since: Jun 29, 2009
  5. Mayor

    Mayor UKBF Enthusiast

    295 95
    Are you really making a big saving closing for half a day a week ? Personally I regard shops that have "half-day closing" etc as a bit of an anachronism in this day and age, it just gives potential customers another reason to go and shop at the place that never closes, and although it is only a half day, sods law says that is the afternoon that the high roller comes into town with a big wad of cash to throw your way....

    Having said that, if you have little competition and a regular clientele, then they may even support you in taking some time off ! You could always ask them ?
    Posted: Sep 12, 2013 By: Mayor Member since: Feb 3, 2009
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  6. herewegoagain.

    herewegoagain. UKBF Legend

    586 242
    It is an awkward one... a lot of it will depend on how many staff you have on, can you reduce the number of staff on at any one time? - saving costs that way...

    In my case, I man the shop by myself - this way I can make it pay! -
    no staff = less hassle!! (been there, done that, got burnt - big time!)

    When I take a day off, or go to the wholesalers (I open 5/6 days - 830 to 530) - I place a notice in the window, a couple of days beforehand.

    I have not had any negative feedback about this - quite the opposite - customers have said 'well you are on your own! - you have to take some time off !!

    Work to live - not live to work !!
    Posted: Sep 13, 2013 By: herewegoagain. Member since: Jul 4, 2012
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  7. Stevie Wonder

    Stevie Wonder UKBF Contributor

    93 19
    Thanks everyone!

    It is a funny one really, I would save on staff primarily as I would be more able to run the store on my own.

    On the other hand I don't want to do anything to discourage business, especially in the current climate.

    A trial run as mentioned is a good idea I think, might give that a go and concentrate on getting feedback from regular customers.
    Posted: Sep 13, 2013 By: Stevie Wonder Member since: Mar 5, 2011
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  8. deniser

    deniser UKBF Legend

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    We used to close on Mondays. It made no difference at all as people knew. It is important to be consistent though and not keep chopping and changing.
    Posted: Sep 13, 2013 By: deniser Member since: Jun 3, 2008
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  9. swankypants69

    swankypants69 UKBF Ace

    570 126
    I personally hate half day closing, I am a retailer and it irritates me when I pop into town and the shop I want to use is half day closed

    I would perhaps look at shaving half an hour off a day perhaps, that way you make similar savings to half day closing

    Every business is different so there is no one correct answer

    We used to take no more than £10 ever between 8.00am and 8.30am. So we just started opening at 8.30am. An extra half an hour in bed, or half an hour wage saved etc

    If your hours are well advertised, and as deniser said, consistent, then there shouldn't be a problem

    If you are a specialist shop, with a little niche and little competition and loyal customers then you can get away with it

    However if you rely on passing trade, high volume of small sales and infrequent customers, then you might struggle to cut hours

    Over a period of weeks analyse your sales day by day, hour by hour, see what the data tells you. That data should give you your answers!
    Posted: Sep 13, 2013 By: swankypants69 Member since: May 4, 2012
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  10. Billmccallum

    Billmccallum UKBF Legend

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    Have you completed a sales analysis?

    what are your income and expense figures for early or late opening? Each day of the week?

    If you find that morning sales are much lower and cant justify the cost of opening at 8am, try a 10am opening time for a few months, same with later opening times.

    I know a couple of shops that operate 10am -4pm and seem to thrive on it.

    An 8am opening time and 5pm closing time usually mean staff have to be in at 7.30 and leave around 5.30 (giving time to set up and clean round, cash up ,etc), dropping 3 hours a day (18 per week) can save a decent amount of cash in wages alone and a slightly lower electricity bill.
    Posted: Sep 13, 2013 By: Billmccallum Member since: Apr 20, 2010
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  11. Hunnie

    Hunnie UKBF Regular

    150 39
    Like many retailers I currently open my shop on six days a week, roughly between 8am and 5pm.

    Hello Stevie,
    Those hours are traditional, from a time when the 'wife' would not be working and therefor able to visit stores between these hours.
    The Supermarkets know that this is no longer the case.

    As a dancewear shop, mainly aimed at children, we open 1pm to 4.30pm most days, to catch the coming home from school trade, with late nights till 6pm 2 days a week for working mums (I often stay later by request) and then 10am -2pm Saturdays. I give each customer a business card with our hours on. We are also willing to open outside of these hours for anyone by arrangement.

    Posted: Sep 13, 2013 By: Hunnie Member since: Oct 19, 2011
  12. emmylou74

    emmylou74 UKBF Big Shot

    476 175
    I am open 5 days a week - 10.30 to 5.30 Tuesday to Friday and 9.30 to 5 on a Saturday. I offer appointments on Sunday or Monday and late night opening at request.
    Posted: Sep 14, 2013 By: emmylou74 Member since: Oct 21, 2009
  13. oldoakey

    oldoakey UKBF Regular

    199 31
    We found that opening an hour later at 10 am rather than 9 am made no difference to the sales figures and we saved an hour per day per person.

    In our old store we opened at 9 am but then closed every Monday and Sunday so we could take a weekend break, this again seemed to have little effect on sales.

    As mentioned earlier though you have to be consistent.
    Posted: Sep 14, 2013 By: oldoakey Member since: Jun 18, 2011
  14. Talay

    Talay UKBF Legend

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    I start from the principle of 24/7/365 and work backwards rather than some 18th century sequence of forced closings.

    The longest any of our businesses opens at present is 08:00 to 22:00 7 days a week but if the same business were in London, it would be open at least until midnight and from 6am with a strong likelihood that it would simply morph into 24/7/365.
    Posted: Sep 14, 2013 By: Talay Member since: Mar 12, 2012
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  15. fairdealworld

    fairdealworld UKBF Big Shot

    443 182
    May be useful to consider closing for a whole day rather than half a day. Partly because that is easier for people to remember (when half days were common whole districts had the same half day and so everyone was quite clear in their mind about it but that is no longer the case). Partly because there are more potential savings to set against any possible loss of trade.

    I've experimented with a Wednesday half day in the past because Wednesday afternoon sales tend to be so low, but once I'd factored in the cost of diesel the saving was hardly worth it. I also didn't feel I was gaining a half day whether to work on business admin or for personal use as by the time I got home the afternoon was already half over and I was irritated by doing the return commute so soon after the outward journey. I'm seriously thinking of closing all day on Wednesday as looking at the figures the sales are just not covering the costs.

    I'm just not sure that small shops can effectively compete by trying to operate supermarket hours or just the longer hours of the big High Street players. You need an enormous turnover to make those sorts of hours work, unless you live in the shop and sleep under the counter of course. I sometimes wonder if shops which open less become by that means more unique and therefore more desirable? An upmarket jeweller in the town where I live will only let customers in one person or couple at a time - and there is a security guard standing outside all day to ensure this - other 'supplicants' as I tend to think of that shop's customers have to stand outside and wait rain or shine. The remarkable thing is that they do. You see well off people (or maybe people with more credit card limit than sense) standing shivering in the rain waiting to be admitted to the inner sanctum.

    Maybe we are all just too obliging. I have sometimes thought of charging people to come into my shop - you know it just might work!
    Posted: Sep 15, 2013 By: fairdealworld Member since: Sep 17, 2011
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  16. Stevie Wonder

    Stevie Wonder UKBF Contributor

    93 19
    Some interesting points here, thanks again for all the comments.

    Analysis of our sales has been mentioned (ie are we more or less productive at particular times of the day or week), the truth is that trade is chaotic to say the least!

    Our best day one week could be the worst in the following weeks, the same with times, we can break even sometimes by 9am and other times that defining sale may not come until 4:55pm (if at all)!

    I have noticed that Saturday (when we open until 4pm) has been quiet in the afternoon. I operate on a small industrial estate and almost all the other businesses close around midday. I might therefore trial the half day on Saturday and see how we get on.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2013
    Posted: Sep 16, 2013 By: Stevie Wonder Member since: Mar 5, 2011
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  17. HawthornCraft

    HawthornCraft UKBF Newcomer

    24 9
    We used to open Mon-Sat 9.30am - 5pm and changed to Tues-Sat 10am-5pm at the beginning of the year. Footfall is the same and sales have actually increased! We are a small niche shop so people either know our hours or are happy to come back at another time as they definitely can't find what we sell elsewhere. Having Monday free for visits, paperwork, long phone calls etc. has really helped as well.

    Posted: Sep 17, 2013 By: HawthornCraft Member since: Mar 30, 2011
  18. 10032012

    10032012 UKBF Legend

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    Half days annoy me. Where I live (like many places) each library close a different day per week (other than the main county library) - its annoying!!! This said, its worse for a shop... I wouldn't come back for at least a month otherwise.

    I don't run a shop... but I don't think it should open before 9am (8.30am start for staff to prepare for opening) and not close any time before 5.30pm - this said, however, these ideals apart, many shops seem to suffer from 3pm or 3.30pm onwards - apart from seasonal late night shopping. it does depend on the location... where I am, the town gets full of loud annoying school kids so people tend to avoid it.

    Sundays got more popular in the last 5 years but Saturday is still a very busy day. Most people have to work in the week!! I think if you compress your week day hours have wider availability at weekends. Although it kind of goes against the principle of opening hours... there is no reason you cannot decide to open a little later on occasion for large demand but might seem silly to some especially if you display your opening hours like most do.
    Posted: Sep 21, 2013 By: 10032012 Member since: Mar 10, 2012
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