Extending store hours during the summer months

07Jul09

With Chicago’s cold winters and rather hot summers, there are several months a year when getting to the grocery store can be quite a challenge. During the winter, you learn to look for the warmest days of the week, and go at mid-day when temperatures are more moderate. And during the summer, you seek out the cooler days, and try to plan your trips for the morning before it gets too hot.

However, going to the store first thing in the morning is easier said than done, since some stores don’t open until 9 am or later. This makes me wonder: why don’t grocery stores try opening earlier in the summer? It gets light very early each day, and the temperature can be a lot cooler at 7 or 8 compared to 9 am. Of course, this would only work if the store marketed the extended hours and reminded people that it’s easier to walk there and back when it’s cooler out.

I have no idea if this approach would drive enough extra business to justify the extra hour or two of operating costs. But it would certainly be an interesting experiment to try, especially during the hottest part of the summer.



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