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  #241  
Old 12.12.2011, 11:09
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Re: Americanization

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That's somewhat incorrect, as we all are driven by impuls, it is fair to say that overall sales would go up instead of down.
Do people buy more food (per week/year) when they can buy it on Sundays? Probably not. Or if they do it's mostly typical impulse purchases like snacks and drinks - in other words, gas station food. Gas stations have that niche pretty well covered. There is no incentive for a normal grocery store selling boring stuff like eggs, sugar and flour to stay open an extra day. None. They'd hire extra people, pay them overtime, spend more money keeping the lights on and the tills running, and for what? So I could buy a dozen eggs from them on Sunday - the same dozen eggs that I would otherwise have bought from them on Saturday. Their sales haven't gone up, can't have gone up because my egg usage hasn't gone up.

OK, maybe while I'm there I'll toss a bag of chips into my basket on impulse. Unless that impulse is more powerful on Sunday than it would have been on Saturday (i.e. the day I would otherwise have been there, shopping for my dozen eggs) their sales still haven't gone up.

Sales only go up when I buy something from them, on Sunday, that I would otherwise have bought elsewhere or not at all. That's a small fraction of turnover and it has to cover all your running costs for the day, or you are indeed operating at a loss.

Of course you're still left with some intangibles - will the perception of improved customer service increase brand loyalty? will it drag people into your shop who would normally shop at the competitor's? Maybe as a store manager you think that's worth running a loss one day a week. Swiss retailers seem to have concluded it's a wash though and in the current consumer and regulatory climate they're probably right. Those old arguments about shopkeepers deserving time off with their families too are still largely persuasive, with the result that neither Coop nor Migros wants to be seen as the Evil Empire making people work Sundays, and even if a smaller store wanted to it'd be like pulling teeth to get permission from local government.
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  #242  
Old 12.12.2011, 11:14
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Re: Americanization

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OK, maybe while I'm there I'll toss a bag of chips into my basket on impulse. Unless that impulse is more powerful on Sunday than it would have been on Saturday (i.e. the day I would otherwise have been there, shopping for my dozen eggs) their sales still haven't gone up.
Not to mention that impulse works the other way too. When shopping for two days rather than one I tend to keep different options open for what I'm going to do on the Sunday so may end up buying more because of the uncertainty. Of course all that extra will end up being consumed anyway so the shop may sell less on Monday and Tuesday.
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Old 12.12.2011, 11:18
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Re: Americanization

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Do people buy more food (per week/year) when they can buy it on Sundays? Probably not. Or if they do it's mostly typical impulse purchases like snacks and drinks - in other words, gas station food. Gas stations have that niche pretty well covered. There is no incentive for a normal grocery store selling boring stuff like eggs, sugar and flour to stay open an extra day. None. They'd hire extra people, pay them overtime, spend more money keeping the lights on and the tills running, and for what? So I could buy a dozen eggs from them on Sunday - the same dozen eggs that I would otherwise have bought from them on Saturday. Their sales haven't gone up, can't have gone up because my egg usage hasn't gone up.

OK, maybe while I'm there I'll toss a bag of chips into my basket on impulse. Unless that impulse is more powerful on Sunday than it would have been on Saturday (i.e. the day I would otherwise have been there, shopping for my dozen eggs) their sales still haven't gone up.

Sales only go up when I buy something from them, on Sunday, that I would otherwise have bought elsewhere or not at all. That's a small fraction of turnover and it has to cover all your running costs for the day, or you are indeed operating at a loss.

Of course you're still left with some intangibles - will the perception of improved customer service increase brand loyalty? will it drag people into your shop who would normally shop at the competitor's? Maybe as a store manager you think that's worth running a loss one day a week. Swiss retailers seem to have concluded it's a wash though and in the current consumer and regulatory climate they're probably right. Those old arguments about shopkeepers deserving time off with their families too are still largely persuasive, with the result that neither Coop nor Migros wants to be seen as the Evil Empire making people work Sundays, and even if a smaller store wanted to it'd be like pulling teeth to get permission from local government.
Certainly people buy more food/products when stores are open on Sunday. You wouldn't have to plan ahead on when to buy what. Also, you could just pop into the store and get your necessity whenever you need them. For instance, I needed a plunger on a Saturday evening...naturally, I was not able to buy one until Monday morning..meaning, I had to carefully tend to my toilet...and semi-flush on a regular basis. It eventually got unblocked. However, had I had the opportunity to buy a plunger, I wouldn't have waited until physics had taken its course. There are also a lot of intangible qualities. You don't have to work on Sunday and therefore, won't have any time pressure. This leaves you more relaxed and happy relaxed customers are known to spending more money.
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  #244  
Old 12.12.2011, 11:26
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Re: Americanization

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That's somewhat incorrect, as we all are driven by impuls, it is fair to say that overall sales would go up instead of down.
If that were true in the US, then there would be more shops. I'm just back from a trip visiting relatices in Dallas and there was no shop of any description anywhere near their house. Not even a gas station. Not even a vending machine. And they weren't living in the sticks but in a neat villa in a built up area. From my appartment I can reach about 6 or 7 shops of different descriptions including a Coop, a Migros, an Asian shop, a Turkish grocery and a bio bakery within a walking radius of well under 10 minutes. When I told them that they gawped and thought I was absolutely spoilt for choice. They have to drive for longer than that to reach one store (and it's not a particularly nice one at that). So much for impulse shopping.
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  #245  
Old 12.12.2011, 11:29
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Re: Americanization

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Certainly people buy more food/products when stores are open on Sunday. .
Good reason to keep them closed then. We've all seen the affect on people of over-consumption in other countries.
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Old 12.12.2011, 11:36
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Re: Americanization

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If that were true in the US, then there would be more shops. I'm just back from a trip visiting relatices in Dallas and there was no shop of any description anywhere near their house. Not even a gas station. Not even a vending machine. And they weren't living in the sticks but in a neat villa in a built up area. From my appartment I can reach about 6 or 7 shops of different descriptions including a Coop, a Migros, an Asian shop, a Turkish grocery and a bio bakery within a walking radius of well under 10 minutes. When I told them that they gawped and thought I was absolutely spoilt for choice. They have to drive for longer than that to reach one store (and it's not a particularly nice one at that). So much for impulse shopping.
What does that have to do with anything?
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  #247  
Old 12.12.2011, 11:38
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Re: Americanization

Thinking of my buying and spending habits, I will chime in to say that I'm pretty positive that if shops (particularly grocery) were open on Sundays, they would definitely operate at an over all loss.

The reason I think that though is different than given by others (so far today at least - I didn't re-read the whole thread) and that is that people who may come to make a habit of Sunday shopping will be the more time-pressed folks who can not do a big shopping trip during the week. Those people often have to do quick trips to the store during lunch, after work or whatever on week days, which means they have more time spent in the store and thus, more opportunities for impulse buying.

I know that for myself (and I think there have been studies proving this to be common), whether I'm going for ingredients for one meal or if I am going for a big shopping trip, I am likely to be struck by the same / similar impulse. So three trips through the week, each having "oh, I guess I'll have a soda with my meal" vs a big shop where I'm looking at a basket full and still buying "a" soda (buying a six-pack adds too much weight to what I'm carrying ). That's not even factoring in that people who are doing an entire week's worth of grocery buying will likely buy things that will compliment their week's menu day-to-day (figure on using that packet of fresh sage a few days in a row) while buying a meal daily / every two days adds to the impulse factor "what do I want for dinner tonight."

All the hausfraus like me will still shop during the week as we want to avoid the weekend throngs (I rarely, rarely go to the grocery stores on Saturday as it is) and the busy week-day shoppers who now go on Sunday will have a lower over-all bill compared to the combined totals they spent previously.

So, yes, I think it would be a loss over all.
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  #248  
Old 12.12.2011, 11:41
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Re: Americanization

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What does that have to do with anything?
less choice, less freedom of choice, less opportunity for impulse shopping.

My point is that those who praise the US shopping experinece in the US only look at the shops in isolation but not at where the shops are or how many there are. The US is not a land of shopkeepers.

If it were true that the market creates incentive for more choice and impulse shopping, there would be more stores distributed closer to the customers rather than concentrated into massive shopping centers and malls.
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Old 12.12.2011, 12:20
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Re: Americanization

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It takes society some time to get adjusted to some improvement. You cannot just expect to open shop on Sundays and people will come running. Also, this is a consumer society, just like anywhere else, the only difference is, that marketing and options are weak. The even have lay-away appliances and electronic goods in stores. I'm certain, that given the option to shop on Sunday would benefit the economy and society in the long run.
It certainly wouldn't benefit society in the long run. I have a cousin in the US with a one year old daughter who has been told she has to work all the Sunday's up until Christmas or they will find someone to replace her.

With the job market as it is in the US she doesn't have any choice.
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  #250  
Old 12.12.2011, 12:26
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Re: Americanization

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Certainly people buy more food/products when stores are open on Sunday. You wouldn't have to plan ahead on when to buy what. Also, you could just pop into the store and get your necessity whenever you need them. For instance, I needed a plunger on a Saturday evening...naturally, I was not able to buy one until Monday morning..meaning, I had to carefully tend to my toilet...and semi-flush on a regular basis. It eventually got unblocked.
... and so you didn't buy a plunger at all, not even on Monday?

Assuming you did, then where would be the incentive for the shop you did buy it from to open on Sundays? As it was, they got your money and they didn't have to stay open an extra day to get it.

If you didn't, then OK. The store missed a priceless CHF9 opportunity to sell you stuff. However, CHF4.50 pays a cashier to stand there for 15 minutes, one time... and once you bought that plunger you'd never need another one. How many people do you reckon would have to need primitive household appliances on a Sunday to keep even a single store profitably open 52 Sundays a year?

You need people to do regular, repeat shopping during that time to make it worth staying open - but if they're people who already do that shopping with you during the week, you haven't gained anything. The only way it makes sense is if you can attract customers away from other stores. Which you might do but only with certain kinds of products. We're back to the fact that gas stations sell gas station food at gas station opening hours and make a killing: it doesn't follow that other stores selling other things (or even selling gas station food at supermarket prices) during those hours would do the same.

Just to be clear, I'm not denying that longer opening hours would be more convenient for customers. Of course they would. In fact why stop there? Free round-the-clock home delivery would be even more convenient for me, and I suspect for most customers. The question is whether the store sees enough return on my convenience to suitably offset the cost of providing it - and the answer is that in some places it does but possibly not in Switzerland.
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  #251  
Old 12.12.2011, 13:22
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Re: Americanization

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For instance, I needed a plunger on a Saturday evening...naturally, I was not able to buy one until Monday morning...
That is a non-issue, LiB. Everybody knows that a proper Swiss comme il faut would have planned in advance and would already have a collection of plungers (bought on a Saturday morning) at home, just in case something might happen at an undefined future time



Just kidding. On a serious note, as mentioned elsewhere, I have no particular issue with shop opening hours, but since I dislike crowds and crowded places, I tend to avoid shopping on Saturdays if I can at all...perhaps having an extra day during the weekend would reduce the crowds? Dunno.
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Old 12.12.2011, 13:28
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Why not extend the argument? If you can shop for Sunday on Saturday, why not close shops on tuesdays, thursdays and sundays?
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Old 12.12.2011, 13:32
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Re: Americanization

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more relaxed and happy relaxed customers are known to spending more money.
As opposed to the stressed customers who showed up at the store with everyone else in town on Saturday afternoon at 3:00pm and just want to get a few things and gtfo before they get steamrolled by a trolly driven by an aimless Swiss with a misguided internal GPS.
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Old 12.12.2011, 13:33
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Re: Americanization

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Why not extend the argument? If you can shop for Sunday on Saturday, why not close shops on tuesdays, thursdays and sundays?
There are shops that do precisely that. Ever tried shopping in Guarda GR or some other little mountain nest? If they didn't have that they wouldn't be able to shop at all. It's as I'm trying to explain, more opening times = fewer shops.
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Old 12.12.2011, 13:33
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Re: Americanization

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That is a non-issue, LiB. Everybody knows that a proper Swiss comme il faut would have planned in advance and would already have a collection of plungers (bought on a Saturday morning) at home, just in case something might happen at an undefined future time



Just kidding. On a serious note, as mentioned elsewhere, I have no particular issue with shop opening hours, but since I dislike crowds and crowded places, I tend to avoid shopping on Saturdays if I can at all...perhaps having an extra day during the weekend would reduce the crowds? Dunno.
Don't all normal people keep plungers in their house in case something might happen at an undefined future time?
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Old 12.12.2011, 13:36
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Re: Americanization

This is interesting. When we talk about convenience and Switzerland, different parts cannot really compare. The same size town in Swiss German part has about 50% more stores and more convenient opening hours (to more than average busy, overscheduled person, of which I have also seen way more in the Swiss German area, to be honest) than the same size town I live in.

So, when there are complainers about opening hours that live in a comfy and convenient, very expat exposed areas in the German part, it makes me smile.

Just come over here (and not into some major French sp. city) and then try to find a newsagent open after 7pm, a shop without 40% mark up open after 8pm or a decent pharmacy open on Sunday without having to take a train.

I don't think, by the way, there is any ground for telling folks what they should or shouldn't need and when..different people will always need different things. I also do not really think that opening a store for let's say half the usual opening hours on Sunday would result in a loss. It's just simply not done in here, so why waste time not adjusting to it, or not being flexible enough to outsource elsewhere. Things are turning for the better as we speak, when I moved in here it was way harder. It just takes time and being a bit creative with how to pull off not fitting in with "assumed or expected" needs, career, family set up, extra activities that take time, more than average traveling as expats mostly always have to do, etc...
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  #257  
Old 12.12.2011, 14:00
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Re: Americanization

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. Apparently, open Sundays, are the most profitable days of the year....I wonder, when stores start to realize, that it would improve a lot of things, if customers could finally choose when to shop.
Which is probably why it's called Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
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Old 12.12.2011, 14:03
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Re: Americanization

Seeing the pre-Christmas period is the most profitable period of the year, I propose that we have Christmas every month rather than just in December. Of course the economic benefits would not be immediately visible as people would need to adapt but I'm sure once there, nobody would want to go back.
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Old 12.12.2011, 14:22
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Re: Americanization

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It certainly wouldn't benefit society in the long run. I have a cousin in the US with a one year old daughter who has been told she has to work all the Sunday's up until Christmas or they will find someone to replace her.
With the job market as it is in the US she doesn't have any choice.
..on the other hand, shops open on Sundays provide additional work places and therefore, wouldn't she be glad to have at least have a job because of the aforementioned store opening hours?

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If that were true in the US, then there would be more shops. I'm just back from a trip visiting relatices in Dallas and there was no shop of any description anywhere near their house. Not even a gas station. Not even a vending machine. And they weren't living in the sticks but in a neat villa in a built up area. From my appartment I can reach about 6 or 7 shops of different descriptions including a Coop, a Migros, an Asian shop, a Turkish grocery and a bio bakery within a walking radius of well under 10 minutes. When I told them that they gawped and thought I was absolutely spoilt for choice. They have to drive for longer than that to reach one store (and it's not a particularly nice one at that). So much for impulse shopping.
How about apples with apples here. Because you relatives live out in the sticks and they don't necessarily have a store close by as yet doesn't mean that this scenario generally applies across the US. I've live in rural areas in the US, where it wasn't a problem getting supplies. As a matter of fact, there were ample stores (even from the same franchise), which were readily open 24/7. You're comparing total sticks in the US with a "metropolitan" hub in Switzerland. Compare it to any incorporated town and I'm certain, that it would shift in favor of the US system.

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... and so you didn't buy a plunger at all, not even on Monday?

Assuming you did, then where would be the incentive for the shop you did buy it from to open on Sundays? As it was, they got your money and they didn't have to stay open an extra day to get it.

If you didn't, then OK. The store missed a priceless CHF9 opportunity to sell you stuff. However, CHF4.50 pays a cashier to stand there for 15 minutes, one time... and once you bought that plunger you'd never need another one. How many people do you reckon would have to need primitive household appliances on a Sunday to keep even a single store profitably open 52 Sundays a year?

You need people to do regular, repeat shopping during that time to make it worth staying open - but if they're people who already do that shopping with you during the week, you haven't gained anything. The only way it makes sense is if you can attract customers away from other stores. Which you might do but only with certain kinds of products. We're back to the fact that gas stations sell gas station food at gas station opening hours and make a killing: it doesn't follow that other stores selling other things (or even selling gas station food at supermarket prices) during those hours would do the same.

Just to be clear, I'm not denying that longer opening hours would be more convenient for customers. Of course they would. In fact why stop there? Free round-the-clock home delivery would be even more convenient for me, and I suspect for most customers. The question is whether the store sees enough return on my convenience to suitably offset the cost of providing it - and the answer is that in some places it does but possibly not in Switzerland.
I didn't end up buying the plunger, as I didn't need it anymore...and the store lost (possibly?) 9Chf. Multiply this by more customers not necessarily needing a plunger but other items. You're friends show up unannounced and you want to prepare dinner...and all you have is frozen Pizzas. Then the store missed out on an additional 40something Chf (mind you, the Pizzas were bought already). It's not only a matter of convenience, it's a mtter of increasing sales and accomodating customers' needs. Also, as you may have noticed, on Saturday and on evenings, stores are jam-packed with people. Some of us don't have the luxury to do their grocery shopping whenever they like and it turns out, that they only buy basic necessities. However, given they had more time on their hands (guess, possibly Sunday), this wouldn't happen, as they could satisfy their need and purchase oother items, which they didn't initially intend on buying. Stores definitely see a return on their investment and would happily proceed on being open on Sunday, but law and regulations aren't up to par as yet.
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Old 12.12.2011, 14:29
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Re: Americanization

My mate says that he's more interested in Sunday opening across the border in Germany and France.
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