Tools for Tomorrow: Holiday Hours

 In Marketing Plan, Planning

By now, we’re sure you’ve seen the buzz online about outdoor retailer REI announcing that they will be closed on Black Friday, and will pay their employees for a day off. In alignment with their brand, REI is encouraging their employees (and greater customer base) to #OptOutside, and spend the day outdoors instead of inside.

While closing on Black Friday isn’t feasible (or desirable) for every business, in recent years, many retailers have opted to open on Thanksgiving at midnight (or earlier) with promises of super discounts. Others open bright and early at 5:00 AM on Friday morning with “door-buster” sales.

Every business is different, and for some, these extended hours really boost sales. For others, they merely move sales around, much to the detriment of the employees. Large retailers like Nordstrom, TJ Maxx, Nieman Marcus, Costco, DSW and Patagonia (amongst others) will not be open on Thanksgiving Day.

Some companies just don’t see a big boost in business on Thanksgiving Day, others prefer to keep tradition with opening a little earlier on Black Friday. Still others just think their employees deserve Thanksgiving Day off to spend with their families.

What are the right hours of operation that will best serve your customers who are trying to buy what you offer? During the season, you might find that it’s worth it to open up earlier and/or stay open later so that your customers can get what they need. It’s also important to set deadlines for special orders (i.e. gift baskets, certain catered items, personalized or custom-made goods, etc.) so that the expectations for service are clear. Additionally, outline what days you will be closed and make a plan for how you will communicate all of the above to your customer (special holiday newsletter, perhaps?).

It’s worth taking a look at how you will structure your hours of operation during the holiday season. Both for your employees and your customers, planning ahead will help you make the most out of the days you are open.

Will you be open on Thanksgiving and/or Black Friday?


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