Should local businesses change their opening hours?


12-September-2011

Some shops, like the Seychelles Trading Company’s supermarket in town, opens on both Saturdays and Sundays


However, with the ever-growing number of shops locally, as well as a free market for all, people are starting to gradually realise that they have the option of going to another shop rather than wait for a closed one to open.

For example, if for years you have been faithfully doing your end of the month shopping at a certain shop. This has been a tradition for you but you have to make sure that you go there either before or after lunchtime.

But come one day when you have to do your shopping at lunchtime for one reason or another, would you postpone your shopping trip to another day or go to another shop, where, you might even be able to get better deals on certain commodities?

It should be common sense that one should keep his shop open from 12 noon to 1pm, for obvious reasons, such as that one hour is the time when the majority of people get their lunch breaks, and so make use of it to buy whatever commodity needed or make whatever transactions they have.

Why is it then that businesses choose to close for lunch at a time when they could be getting the most clients?
One shopkeeper said they need to give their staff a break and let everyone pause, before resuming business.

“It’s not always about getting money, although that is one of the reasons for opening a business, but it is also about giving humane working conditions to the staff,” he said.

Another shopkeeper said he prefers to stay open from 12 to 1pm and then close until 2pm, so that they can make the maximum use of the midday shopping rush, after which they can take a break when it is less busy.

One shopper who gave her name as Wendy, said it was frustrating to use one’s lunchtime to run errands, and find your destination closed.

“It is certainly easier if I know I have other options; if one shop is closed I just go to another, but it can be frustrating if I need something very specific though,” she said.

Some shops, like the Seychelles Trading Company’s supermarket in town, opens on both Saturdays and Sundays, while some prefer to stay open until much later than “normal” opening hours for those who prefer late-night shopping.

With so many available shops and businesses to choose from nowadays, shouldn’t entrepreneurs be more proactive in the face of a liberalised market and fierce, growing competition?
Over to you, dear readers!

By Ivan Hollanda

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