Labor Day weekend marks the end of the summer for many people. Fall and winter are ahead, and they’re already planning how they’re going to spend the colder months. On the business side of things, you may have summer inventory still sitting on your shelves and taking up room in the warehouse.
You have a choice in front of you. Do you keep your store open on Labor Day or close it for the holiday weekend? There are a few pros and cons to consider if you want to go ahead and treat it like a normal business day.
Attract Holiday Shoppers
The biggest pro in the staying open column comes from bringing in the Labor Day shoppers who are exploring the numerous sales that happen on this weekend. They may have slipped away from their cookouts or chosen to forgo get-togethers in order to hunt the best discounts.
If you have a great idea for a sale, want to start offloading summer seasonal gear, or simply see no reason to close for the holiday, then you have the potential to get plenty of deal-seekers through your doors.
Improve Slow Summer Sales
Many people are more focused on summer vacations than they are on shopping. Parents may have fewer opportunities to head to the stores when their children are home from school, and travel takes up many weekends.
The summer is a slow season for many small businesses, but you can compensate for that with an excellent sale to kick off the fall and winter. Get your customer base in the holiday shopping mood, and give them a few subtle hints that the end of the year is coming soon, so it’s time to grab a cart and start things up.
As a small business, you don’t have a huge workforce to pull from. Enterprises don’t have a problem keeping their store locations open because they have plenty of people willing to work on holidays and get the associated bonus pay.
You may not have that luxury, which can result in short- and long-term employee dissatisfaction. Someone may have had plans with family or simply wanted to enjoy the day off. Even if you give your employees a higher pay rate for coming in, that doesn’t make up for the lost time they were expecting to have.
Your alternative is running things yourself for the day, but that might not be possible for a larger store. You have to weigh the benefits carefully, as you don’t want to lose valuable employees due to long-term resentment. Consider giving extra time off to people who come in to work on the holiday. They might give up their time now, but they can make it up later on.
What reputation will you have in your local community if you choose to keep the doors open on Labor Day? If you’re in an area where plenty of businesses have promotions running over the weekend, then you’re not going to stick out negatively.
However, if your town sees most businesses closed during holidays, then you could end up with a public relations disaster on your hands. Small towns are especially susceptible to this, as you could end up being the only store open for the entire day. While that might sound attractive at first, it could end up giving the impression that you care about profit more than anything else.
September is leading you into the end of the year, with the associated holiday sales season. You don’t want your customers to get burnt out on sales before you even get started with the most profitable period for your business. If you’ve recently run a promotion, or you have a schedule that’s filled with lots of exciting sales, you can choose to skip out on Labor Day. Build up your customers’ anticipation for the next few months to come.
Potential Slow Day
How has your business historically done on holiday weekends? If this is your first time trying it out, be prepared for a potential slow day. You don’t have any guarantee that your promotions are going to bring people in, especially if you’re in a location that doesn’t have a lot of other nearby businesses open.
Since you pay more in holiday pay to your employees, and you still have all your overhead costs to consider, try to make an informed decision on whether you should stay open on Labor Day. While you’re probably okay if you’re surrounded by stores that have sales all weekend, you could still end up in the red by the end of the day.
You have the potential to bring in a lot of business and generate revenue on Labor Day weekend, but staying open isn’t without risk. Consider the pros and cons carefully, try to get historic performance data if possible, and plan for the worst while hoping for the best. Even if you don’t see the volume you want on Labor Day, you now have first-hand data points you can use to inform your decisions in the future.
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