When was the last time you visited your store at night?

I hope you had never been waked up by a policeman telling your store had been robbed.

Unfortunately that happened to me (twice) and could happen to anyone. But that’s not what I mean by “visited your store at night”.

Stores at night are different. And so are people passing by.

How does your store look like at night?

Are lights off? Or is you store the brightest in the street? The store people will see long before they are in front of it. The store people will carefully examine the merchandise in the window, even at night.

Your store doesn’t stop selling when you close doors at night.

Your store should be always selling. If someone passes in front of your store at night, you should be selling. Not right away, of course. But this client may come back the next day, if he sees a product he likes.

So, take a couple of hours and go see what happen at night. How is the store at night compared to others?Are people passing by? Walking? By car?

At night, it’s much easier to stand apart. How’s your store at night?

It’s great to listen to candid feedback.

When I started working in retail, I used to work long hours. I would go to office at 7 am and I would leave at 8 pm. But sometimes after dinner I would make a visit to one of my stores.

My older daughter was a baby. So it was not easy for me to leave my wife and my little princess for a couple of hours at night. But I was working hard for the future of my family, and my wife was very supportive.

The truth is – those were the best 2 hours of work of the day. Why? Because I could hear honest and direct feedback of my work.

I would stand outside the store, close enough to hear what people were saying about the window, or the merchandise, or prices, or whatever. They didn’t know I was the owner, so couples passing by would talk openly about what they thought.

I learned a lot. I was getting feedback about the window display. Sometimes people would stop more than usual, to watch the window.  This way, I knew which windows display were more successful.

I was getting feedback about what products people loved more or less, and feed back about prices.

And you can’t have this kind of feedback when you watch people by day, because:

  1.  By day, people are in a hurry. They don’t talk much.
  2. They don’t say what they think, because they don’t want to hurt the employees’ feelings (they could hear from inside).

When you get negative feedback you learn and you can change things. And, of course, when you have positive feedback, it feels real good. And trust me, it’s a reward that makes you want to go to work the next morning.

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When was the last time you visited your store at night?
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