Brick & Mortar | The Hours They Keep

They are dropping like flies, Circuit City, Compusa just to mention a few. It was announced yesterday that BestBuy is cutting staff in large numbers.

It surprises me that the brick & mortar stores did not first cut their hours of operation. Payroll is huge expense in the retail business. Payroll productivity can be volatile and hard to track. Store hours would be a simple solution, or at least something to try first.

How do you shop for an electronic item these days?

I look for the item online. I find the part number, then move to Amazon to review the price with shipping. I then search through the reviews. My next step is to check the brick & mortar stores availability and price. If the local store is competitive I check the stores hours then head up to pick up the item. Sometimes I even order online for in store pick-up. Is my example that different from yours?

A local Best Buy near me keeps theses hours:

* Mon: 10-9
* Tue: 10-9
* Wed: 10-9
* Thurs: 10-9
* Fri: 10-10
* Sat: 10-10
* Sun: 10-8

Is it really necessary to keep the store open that long? Till 9pm during the week and 10pm on the weekend seems like a waste. If I was in a cost cutting mode I would slash the hours to 6 during the week and 7 on the weekend. I remember my days in retail. The first hour of the day is mostly returns. I would also consider moving the open time back an hour M-F. Those folks that return are a captive audience and are not going to the competition.

How much of the business during those hours would be lost? Wouldn’t most of the customers learn to come during the new hours?

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