There is something really bizarre about the way shops are operated. I find their work schedules and operational hours so odd that they leave me wondering what sort of strategy they follow. This is done by most wholesale and retailers, with the exception of a few ‘civilised’ ones. I call them civilised because they operate within considerable hours to allow those working shoppers who only have specific hours outside their working bracket.
Consider the officer who has to report for duties at 7:30 am to break for lunch and again at 4:30 or five pm. Some do not even have the luxury of a free lunch break because of family commitments such as picking up children from school, working lunches and meeting their clientele. Clearly, many do not have the time to even rush into a shop, grocery, supermarkets or clothing stores to grab a few essentials for the home. They may decide to push that time to evenings, upon knocking off and on the way home. But what happens? That also becomes the time these shops decide to close and ‘knock’ off. The only plausible option would be weekends if the few shops that close later that five or throughout lunch hours do not stock customer specifics.
I have been pondering a possible suggestion. From my humble observation, most shops open at 9 am- unlike offices schedules that dictate a 7:30 shift—one and a half later than most office bearers. Would it hurt shop owners to consider opening over lunch to allow those otherwise tied up with work to take a few minutes’ shopping to maximise of their busy schedules? Can’t the lunch breaks be shifted to later than 12:00 or 12:30 to avoid the likelihood of clashes? What about allowing for at least two more hours from the conventional working off time of 5 pm to for a similar cause? Can that be not a workable strategy to target the very people who just might be worth the consideration? In any case, why should business hours trade in the exact same manner as offices?
Mine was just a thought. The suggestion may or may not make sense, but I have often exclaimed to myself at the lost opportunity that business owners fail to seize. Cleary, I do not have an idea how these business are run or what models they follow. But borrowing a leaf from some countries within our neighborhood and beyond, these are some techniques they employ. It is just impossible to programme working hours in tandem with shops.
Removing a little absurdity in the time clashes just might work for the benefit of both parties. I am sure, too, that even the non-working classes do not always have the time to shop at designated times due to other engagements. Commitments vary and shopping must be permitted at the so-called ‘odd’ hours. Without the pain of overtime, there would be no gain. n