Friday, July 22, 2016

Retail Hours Per Square Foot Open

When we switched from lending money to lending credit, circa 1971, we also morphed from a materialistic society to a consumeristic society.  Where USA was known for over-engineered goods and services, very high quality, we began to create disposable goods and services to match the false economic sense of the masses.  A high-quality car or couch or toaster one kept and passed on to the next generation, vs the items we throw away every couple of years.  People once maybe had one home a lifetime, now most have several.

Update: Here is an example of the renaissance of authentic economy, a Portland micro-business: Finex Cast Iron.  Lodge Cast Iron cookware was a solution to a problem, like all winning products.  There is no solution that cannot be improved upon, as Finex does Lodge.  Finex will take nothing from Lodge, and if Lodge resists the error of copying Finex,  it will retain its separate market.  Lodge has a line of enameled cast iron cookware now, copying Le Crueset.  Great prices.  I bought a piece assuming Lodge quality.   Big mistake.  Made in China, 3 years in the enamel cooking surface is chipping off.  The Chinese can certainly copy Le Crueset perfectly well, but only at what it costs Le Crueset to do the same, making a Lodge enameled pot desultory.  Copying competition in specialty is suicide.

To sell the more on offer, of lesser quality, therefore disposable, required more square footage at retail.  The first expansion was not in building new stores, but being open more hours.  In my youth, all stores were closed on Sundays. Everything.  So the first expansion came in a change where stores began opening on Sundays.  Womens' liberation provided the divorced moms to staff the Sunday open hours.

Macy's is now cutting back hours, 10-6 in Many stores, fewer hours Sunday.  They are not tearing down buildings, but there are less Square Feet at retail open hours.  Someone oought to be tracking this.

I noted Bank of America branch with hours of 10-6 daily and 10-1 Saturdays.  Here again, before say 1973 banks were open 10-3 Mon- Thu, 10-6 on Friday (to accept paycheck deposits) and closed Ssturday.  Anyone who knocked off early from worked was accused of having "bankers hours."  Banks had to expand to handle all of the credit for a consumeristic society passing through their branches.  As the consumeristic credit society dies, less hours are needed.

There are opportunities here.  Macy's already leases out shoes, books, jewelry, carpets, etc departments.  If you have a good product or range at retail, approach the local store manager about setting up shop in their store.  Drive a hard no-risk-to-you bargain.  Figure they earn 6% of what passes through the till.  Based on your sales, this will often be better than they do.

I am writing in coffee shop now.  It's independent and its hours are 7-3.  That means the whole operation is closed, and available from say 4-midnight.  Test out your new idea without a $250,000 up front store investment.  Use the excess production capacity of retail square footage closed.  Fix your offer, and then later go into your own digs, with a customer base ready to follow you.

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Anonymous said...

I like the idea of using "excess production capacity" to sell in department stores. In your online class you also mentioned that one of the factors that allows us to source cheaply from Asia is excess management capacity and it appears that there are similarities here.