This article should probably come with a “Heard Under The Sheds” heading because it arises from a trader discussion in the top end during the week. A trader has suggested it is time we ended the farce of different trading hours and at the same time make our hours more related to customer shopping patterns.
Two ‘O’clock closing on Tuesdays and Thursdays is out of touch with modern customer expectations and early starts probably fall in to same category. Our trader was proposing 10:00am to 4:00pm trading every day for the following reasons –
1. Standard times for each trading day just make sense for customers.
2. There is a growing trend to later customer attendance.
3. Extending the hours would effectively give us 6 more hours of trading (equivalent to one more trading day) without cost.
As you would expect, not everybody involved in the discussion agreed with the proposition although most of the negatives seemed to relate to trader convenience rather than customer convenience. There could be difficulties for traders. Many attend the market early in the morning to avoid traffic and appreciate the opportunity to leave early for the same reason plus they may have kid pickup duties. “I need a life as well” is a common catchcry and business and family life need to work side by side.
But, debate during the current retail revolution is all about meeting customer convenience demands and many traders are suffering reduced income as consumers chase convenience. Re-arranging our schedules to fit in with customers may just be the price we pay for better business.
There will be much more discussion on this issue, but as one trader pointed out, this is not something that we have to wait on renewal approval for. This something we can do right now. And for all traders looking for immediate action, trading hours may just be an important vehicle for change.