Closed on Sundays
If you're a specialty retailer your whole week has been about preparing for Saturday (Sunday too if you're open). For many, the weekend is 60% or more of the week's sales. It requires the most payroll but also has the most team members available as more than half of the employees are part-time and work full-time jobs throughout the week. While it is busy, it is not productive for anything other than sales. Winning the weekend is the key to success.
Of anything I regret from my time owning the bike shop, I regret opening on Sundays and staying open late on Saturdays. We gave in to customers who said they wanted it and vendors who told us that we were crazy for not being open.
Here's what happened when we extended our hours to Saturday 9am - 6pm and Sunday 10am to 4pm:
- Payroll increased significantly as we needed the same size crew as we did on Saturday, and pay was time and a half.
- We ended up leaving after 7pm on Saturdays, as customers would roll in at 5:55pm just to browse.
- Team members who worked both days burnt out.
- Monday's crew frequently had to call the Sunday crew with questions about work orders, special orders, etc.
- Saturday morning group ride participation by employees declined, as a long day at work followed.
- Saturday revenue declined despite the extra hours. Customers who browsed on Saturday and said they'd be back on Sunday rarely returned to purchase until later in the week. Sunday revenue rarely made up for the decline on Saturday.
Here's what happened when we CLOSED on Sundays and changed Saturday hours to 10am to 4pm:
- Payroll decreased significantly even though we increased the size of the Saturday team.
- Rarely did we leave after 5pm, and had plenty of time to meet friends and family for dinner.
- Team members left on Saturday calm and not worried about what might transpire in the shop on Sunday.
- Monday morning was a reunion of employees ready to tackle the week, with everything exactly where they left it on Saturday.
- Group ride participation increased significantly, and in turn grew our customer base as happy employees were more inviting to new riders.
- Participation in community events on Sundays increased, and in many cases employees volunteered at events that our customers were attending.
- Saturday revenue DOUBLED. More team members meant we could handle any spike in traffic. Being closed on Sunday created urgency around purchases.
What's the lesson here? The numbers aren't the same for everyone and you can't put a price tag on work-life-balance if the end result is happier employees and customers alike.
This is just my experience and being open on Sunday may make the most sense for your business. But if you've ever wondered if closing could work for you, give it a try!
- Mike O'Connell, Former Bike Shop Owner