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Readers Respond to Sunday Hours

An HBSDealer poll question generates several letters on work-life balance.

BY HBSDealer Staff

Retailers who keep their stores closed on Sunday point to a good reason. Sunday is family time, they say. And a mandated day off makes for loyal, happy employees. And happy employees make for happy customers.

Then again, a store can’t help customers when the store’s not open.

More than 260 readers voted in a recent HBSDealer poll: “Closed on Sunday — good move or bad move for a retailer?” Here are the results:

  • 79%: Good move – for employees, for families, for communities.
  • 21%: Bad move – seven days of sales are better than six.

HBSDealer also received several messages on the topic of Sunday hours, including these:

“The company I work for does NOT work Sundays, never has, never will. We all need at least one day off.

“We handle things a little different here, also. After noting for two years just when we would get phone calls and Saturday customers, we cut our Saturday business hours from 9–5 to 9–2. Plus, once Thanksgiving weekend comes around, we stop opening Saturdays until the first Saturday in April.

“Needless to say, we all look forward to our winter break. Our customers have gotten much better at accepting these hours, too. In an area where we are likely to be beset with snow or rain during the winter, there isn’t much point in opening on a Saturday where you might only get 2-3 customers. Two of our supervisors take turns working Saturday, so every other weekend, they get a full weekend off. It makes for a nice competition to see which “team” sells the most for that Saturday block.”
— Terry L Rickards, Administrative Manager,
Yosemite Falls Lumber
Oakhurst, Calif.

“Friends of ours ran a hamburger stand and opened it on Sundays. When the ice cream machine broke down on a Sunday, they had to pay the repair man extra. They started to look at other expenses related to being open on Sundays. They found that they were actually losing money by being open 7 days a week.
“Additionally, I find that I am much better after having a day away from the business, sharper, rested, and renewed. My family supports the store more when they know I am theirs on Sunday, not feeling like they are competing for my time. And then there’s the commandment to honor the Sabbath. As a result, I do not shop at other places on Sunday, to encourage those owners to enjoy a day off to renew and be with their families.”
— Escalante Home Center
Escalante, Utah

“Opening on Sunday was the worst decision I ever made. No rest or a day off as the owner took a toll on my life, family, health, and generally burnt me out.”
— Kevin Ming

“While we have been closed on Sundays since the beginning in 1936, we are considering opening on Sundays beginning in the fall. I would be curious as to the feelings of retailers that have a Lowe’s or Home Depot in close proximity. I feel we are currently failing our customers that start a project on a Saturday and need materials to finish on Sunday. In this we are driving them to the competition.”
— Anonymous

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C.Martini-Kreckman says:
Jul-10-2019 08:33 pm

We have been open on Sundays and are now currently closed on Sundays. When I was younger I didn't mind 6-7 day weeks but now I appreciate having Sundays off. Right have Hurricane Harvey, we were all working six days a week so we closed on Sunday. After Harvey sales leveled off, it was just too nice having Sundays off for family. Employees like it better and customers understand.

L.Sutherland says:
Jul-09-2019 01:21 pm

We've been open since 1947 in a city that s not wealthy and has a Lowes and Home Depots all around 15. Never were open on Sunday. Never will be. You want good stuff good service you come to us. When they get disgusted with them they come to us.

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