Thursday, December 1, 2016

Staying open late

WE ARE STAYING open late tonight as part of The District's Thankful Thursday Christmas promotion. We'll be here until 8 p.m., along with many other downtown Quincy businesses. Come out and shop!

We love the idea. Our downtown area is quiet after about 5 p.m. We stay open until 6 or 7 most weeknights and it's always dead when we leave the store to go home. I think it's a shame - there is so much potential down here and it would be fun to actually see people out and about when it gets dark.

But owning a small business makes us realize how much harder it is to stay open longer. It's a Catch-22 type of deal - we stay open later to make it convenient for people, but then nobody shows up. So we end up a little less likely to extend hours every year. You gotta try, I guess.

In previous years we stayed open until 8 during the Christmas season, including Saturdays. We aren't doing that anymore because we didn't get the traffic. We have 6 p.m. posted as our closing time ( 5 p.m. Saturday), but truth is we are here later than 6 most nights because of guitar lessons. And if somebody is in the store and we are doing business, we aren't shutting off the lights or kicking out customers.

Many times we get a panicked phone call late in the day and the caller asks when we close. We'll stay open later if we know you are coming. We are here for you especially if you warn us you are coming!

Last year we were open for a few Sundays in December and nobody, and I mean nobody, came in. So we will probably not be here Sunday, our only day off. There are other businesses downtown closed on Mondays, but we think that's a huge mistake. Again, we understand small businesses have only certain resources and abilities, but being closed on a weekday is like cutting your own throat. Sheryl would never stand for that.

I encourage you to come down tonight. I'm thinking about having a jam session or at least Paul Lester will come on down to play some Christmas music on his mandolin.

The lights will be on at Fifth and Maine. And Fast Eddie and Angus say they'd love to see you, too.

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