Sorry, We're Open

July 1999


Sorry, We're Open

Store hours speak volumes about your establishment

Make customers juggle your odd operating hours, make them line up outside while waiting for your day to begin or wait for months until you open and they might just be thrilled to buy from you.

That's the oddly successful formula for Tuesday Morning, a discount housewares chain that opens four times a year for several weeks at a time. Where other chains with regular hours spend up to 35% of total sales on store operations and real estate, Tuesday Morning's costs hover around 15% of sales, a savings it passes on to its customers.

Other stores are beginning to follow Tuesday Morning's lead, says Chain Store Age.K&G Men's Center, Filene's Basement and Men's Warehouse are all experimenting with weekend-only stores. The stores set up in inexpensive spaces (usually warehouses or low-cost strip shopping centers), put merchandise on racks and folding tables, and use part-timers to keep costs low. The cheapness of the operation is actually what attracts people to the format – having to sacrifice service and charm makes the prices seem even more rock-bottom.

The trend may inspire retailers who push quality to run in the other direction. As more chains follow the cheap lead, stores staying open late on weeknights and early on weekends will stand out for their convenience and service.

– by Stacey King

Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.


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