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Do you think downtown businesses should stay open later?

Asked at Hy-Vee, 3504 Clinton Parkway on May 29, 2009

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Photo of Judy Eighmey

“I think that would be nice.”

Photo of Mouhamadou Gueye

“Yeah … sometimes people working late can still go shopping.”

Photo of Charles Freeman

“In some cases, it would help. I have a tough time getting to them during regular business hours.”

Photo of Jordan Hanson

“Yes, because sometimes people are busy during the day and they can only get what they need during the nighttime.”

Comments

bearded_gnome 4 years, 10 months ago

hey Waka1! Dude! haven't seen much of ya', you okay man?


multi, I'm thinking that retail isn't quite timed like restaurant, as a couple of retailers I love downtown when I'm there around 3-4p.m., they've got great business going at those times.

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ImAllThat 4 years, 10 months ago

consumer1: "Extended shoplifting hours extended begging time seeing the crossover from retail shopping to drunken behavior. I am fine with extended hours especially during the summer when all the fine women wear those short cut off jeans and tight t-shirts."

Ahhhhhh(leaning back in my chair)...I could not have said it better myself.

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Pywacket 4 years, 10 months ago

jcc~ If "parking is next to impossible to find" on Mass. St on Thursday nights and you still have very little business that night, get a clue instead of blaming shoppers. Maybe people would like to shop late but (duh) can't find parking on Thursdays b/c others are downtown for other reasons--the bar specials, for instance.

Maybe the stores need to experiment with having evening hours some other night of the week when those who wish to shop won't have to compete with those who are there to drink.

Thursday has always been a big drinking night in Lawrence. I've known a lot of students who tried to arrange their class schedules so as to have no early classes on Fridays.

Again--if it's not working for you, change and find out what will. If the inventor of the wheel had designed it square and kept trying to roll it without modifying the shape, how well would that have worked out? If it doesn't work, experiment until you find something that does. Don't blame shoppers. I, for one, do not care enough whether you stay in business to rearrange my entire week so that I can get downtown and fight student traffic for a parking space on the one night you deign to have late hours. Maybe that night isn't convenient for me.

However, if I happen to be in town on Monday or Wednesday and have time to do a little shopping those evenings, I will--if you stay open. If you don't, I'll hit Target or (if I'm looking for something specific), will go home and order from online. Friday and Saturday evening hours would be great. Have you and your fellow retailers tried that?

As hard as this may be to wrap your head around, customers don't need to accommodate you--you need to accommodate them if you want to succeed. You need to figure out how to maximize your time. You need to figure out your demographics. Who shops at your store and when is that demographic most likely to be out and about? If it's people with kids, maybe you should try evening hours on Fridays & Saturdays, when they can come after work/school/dinner without keeping the kids out too late on a school night. Are most of your clientele retirees? They typically get around very early. Have you tried opening at 8:00, when they're out getting breakfast or coffee? Know your customer.

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4 years, 10 months ago

Put your money where your mouth is! Most stores are already open late on Thursdays & parking is next impossible to find on Massachusetts Street. Yet if you check, there are very few people walking around & even fewer are carrying sacks. Next time you see a lot of people downtown check how many of them are carrying sacks & that will tell you how busy the retailers are. After 30+ years in business we have very little Thursday night traffic so to encourage late hours start shopping Thursday nights & maybe it would be more appealing to stay open other nights.

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autie 4 years, 10 months ago

Stay open later? Later than what?

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Multidisciplinary 4 years, 10 months ago

I'm reading some surprising reviews of "Drag Me to Hell". Saying it's quite a film, not just a horror film.

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Pywacket 4 years, 10 months ago

Depends.... Do they want to stay in business???

They cite problems with overhead as the reason for closing early, but can't think of any more creative way to solve the problem than to close at 5?

Many restaurants close between their busiest hours. That way, they're not paying staff to stand around and be bored. Since our society is geared toward well-defined lunch and dinner hours, this wasn't too hard to do. A restaurant might expect to maximize its overhead returns by opening from, say, 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., then from 5:00 or 6:00 to 10:00. That way, no one is expected to work 12-hr shifts and no one is twiddling their thumbs during the slowest time of the day. Sales crews can work split shifts or take turns on morning and afternoon shifts (just as restaurant staff often does).

Retail shops might find it more challenging, but certainly not impossible, to similarly map their busiest sales hours. Is there a time in the day when sales typically lag? Close shop and open again in the evening. It might not pay to do this every day, but I suspect there would be a good return on weekend evenings.

And the more shop owners got on board with an idea like this, the better it would be for everyone--once the public realized that the sidewalks were no longer rolled up at 5:00, more people would head downtown.

They might try pinpointing dining hours--a lot of people like to browse or shop before or after a meal. I may be totally off base, but I would be surprised if there were not a lag in retail sales between 2:00 and 5:00 p.m. If sales patterns bear out this theory, that might be a good time to close shop.

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The_Original_Bob 4 years, 10 months ago

The one thing I remember that my momma told me before she ran off with the circus was, "beward of Nazi zombies."

Momma - You may have dumped your family to be with the Werewolf Man, but I have to give you props. That was just damn good advice.

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 4 years, 10 months ago

Now that I think about it, the only way it makes sense for downtown businesses to stay open later, is to finish the SLT first.

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prospector 4 years, 10 months ago

TOB, Have you ever noticed that snow angel's resembles the Iron Cross. You will never catch me making one of those again.

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Bob Harvey 4 years, 10 months ago

We would like the stores to stay open later. By the time work is over we have little reason to go downtown if we need or want to do a little shopping. My bride routinely asks why we hear the whining about supporting downtown businesses when they make it inconvenient to do so.

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Flap Doodle 4 years, 10 months ago

TOB, just the poster for that movie scared me.

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gogoplata 4 years, 10 months ago

I know, lets pass a law that they have to stay open later. While we are at it we'll tell them how to set prices, decorate, tell them if they can smoke, ... wait, scratch that last one.

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Tony Kisner 4 years, 10 months ago

Funny question. A basic truth is that I want everyone else to act in a manner which makes my life easier. Do I want shops to stay open later? Yes but they only need to be open when I come down town.

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bearded_gnome 4 years, 10 months ago

I also thought it quite funny they asked this at a nondowntown business!


but has anybody asked the homeless bums/bumettes what they think?

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deskboy04 4 years, 10 months ago

It might to a good strategy to stay open if your competition does.

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BABBOY 4 years, 10 months ago

Sure. Agree that would be nice.

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jumpin_catfish 4 years, 10 months ago

We shop very little downtown but we do eat downtown and the current hours work for us. I know many in Lawrence think all box store should disappear and we should only shop downtown but where would everyone park? Our downtown is nice but Lawrence isn't a downtown only town anymore.

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Ceallach 4 years, 10 months ago

Sure, as long as it isn't past bedtime. It will be hard to sleep with people walking over and around you as they are going into and out of the stores.

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prospector 4 years, 10 months ago

Is there more than one? The business I use stays open late enough for me and I can take some home if I like.

Bob, there you go, pointing out the obvious. Come on, play along, be a Sheeple.

The city, about to add evening and Sunday parking restrictions, is probably the reason why this is being pushed. We should ban the city's trial balloons that they let flap willy-nilly.

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 4 years, 10 months ago

No, If they stayed open later, I would not have as much of a reason to schedule offsite meetings during work hours. And we all know they are needed to maintain productivity.

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Flap Doodle 4 years, 10 months ago

When the zombies come out next month, we'll all want to be safe in our bunkers before the sun goes down.

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Multidisciplinary 4 years, 10 months ago

I've never heard of a place called Big Sprints before. Must be in that parallel universe that has a downtown with no leaves in late May. Is it time for staff vacations or something? :)

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The_Original_Bob 4 years, 10 months ago

I would assume that if the businesses thought later hours would increase business, they'd of already done it.

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consumer1 4 years, 10 months ago

Extended shoplifting hours extended begging time seeing the crossover from retail shopping to drunken behavior. I am fine with extended hours especially during the summer when all the fine women wear those short cut off jeans and tight t-shirts.

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Chris Ogle 4 years, 10 months ago

Downtown would be a good location to ask that question.

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Donnuts 4 years, 10 months ago

That might be a good idea during the summer because the weather is better and daylight hours are longer so there would be more opportunity to raise sales considering the general populous works long hours.

I will have more opportunity to hit the Toy Store.

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