Not-so-grand opening

18May09

The shiny new CVS store in my neighborhood was scheduled to open over the weekend. Well, the weekend came and went, and the same “Coming Soon” sign is still on the window, with no indication of when the store will actually be opening. I don’t know what caused the delay — perhaps they’re waiting for some city inspection or fire code check. (The latter would be especially ironic, since there’s a fire station on the same block.)

Regardless of the reasons why they missed the grand opening date, they really ought to do a little better on communicating with prospective customers. Since dates will be approximate when you’re planning months in advance, start by modifing the “Coming Soon” sign (and things like your website and press releases) to include an estimated date, e.g. “Grand opening in May 2009”. Then, once you’re absolutely sure of the date, change out the sign to say something like “Grand opening on May 23”. Sure, it’s more work to keep people up-to-date, but it sets the proper expectations and builds trust with customers even before the store opens for business.