I wasn’t going to write about my errand day last week. The thoughts that went through my mind were:
No one will find this interesting.
But I can’t get it out of my head because I realized
what I experienced is most likely happening everywhere.
And this experience is not a one time only situation. It has occurred a few times in the last 3 months.
If you are a retail business that is in a mall or shopping center, your landlord has rules for you.
Rule #1: Open for business on time.
If, however you are an independent business owner who leases a space in a quaint small town, there are really no “rules” so to speak, so if you open a half hour late, it’s no big deal. Some might even find it reminds them of a boutique in Europe where the customers are always “wrong” and the hours of operation vary on a daily basis. It’s just their way.
I bring all of this up because I woke up the other morning knowing I had many errands. I had a lot on my “To Do” list and needed to get as early a start as possible. I timed everything out based on what time the stores opened. Most retail establishments open at 10:00 a.m. so I left the house at 5 minutes before 10:00 and was happy that I would be able to get in and out early. The two stores I wanted to shop in were not open at a little after 10:00. As I walked to the cafe around the corner to get a cup of coffee while I waited for the 2 shops to open, I noticed there were other stores not open. Had my watch stopped? I got to the coffee shop and verified the time. It was 10:20 a.m.
On my way back, I stopped to look in a different shop window at something that caught my eye….something that MIGHT be perfect as a gift for someone who was on my “To Do” list. I looked at my newly synchronized watch….It was 10:30 a.m. I looked further into the shop and saw some great gift ideas. I saw a woman arranging some items in the store. I feel certain she saw me looking in the window because she looked up from what she was doing when I appeared. I went for the doorknob and just before my hand touched it, I noticed the “CLOSED” sign. I saw the store hours posted on the door.
10 – 6
I looked at the woman, who by this time had turned her back. I left with my coffee feeling very perplexed.
If you were the owner of this store, what would you have liked to have seen happen? I know I would have been happy if I had been greeted by this woman opening up the door and inviting me in.
I most likely would have purchased a gift for my friend and not bothered to have even entered the other stores that were not open before going to get coffee.
I know what some of you may be thinking….
Why doesn’t she just go to the mall or chain store that opens on time?
I have an aversion to the homogenized McShopping Centers and Malls. I like supporting the Mom and Pop businesses whenever possible. Only it wasn’t possible on this day.
What are the messages here?
Are business owners in such a funk that they can’t see that making an effort CAN make a difference in their sales?
Are they feeling like there is no hope?
Is the shop just a hobby?
Albeit more discerning of their spending, consumers ARE still out there.
This is especially the time to shine
be open on time,