Dealers Close on Saturdays to Keep Employees Happy

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12 Volt Dealers Closing Saturdays

Some car audio shops are closing an extra day a week or reducing hours in order to pace their employees who have worked relentlessly over the past year.

Some dealers noted the same trend is also taking place at restaurants, which are also short staffed.

Dynamic Car Audio, Virginia Beach, VA is now closed Saturdays and Sundays instead of just on Sundays. “All of us are exhausted. The pandemic has had an effect us. [We’ve been] busier than in the past, going on for a year non-stop, 6 or 7 days a week.  We would stay late to finish a job; it became out of control. Customers expected it, so our personal lives suffered,” said Owner John Edwards.

While the company is now closed on weekends, it extended its hours during the week, moving to 8 am to 6 pm (instead of 9 to 5).  Customer hours are  9 to 6 but employees come in at 8.  The shop hasn’t lost any business and the staff is rejuvenated come Monday, said Edwards.

It was tough decision for Andy Bagwell, CEO of 3-store chain Audio Express, Richmond, VA to close on Saturdays.  “It was hard because on Saturdays, we get a decent amount of foot traffic. They are typically shoppers who leave and think about it over the weekend and then come back during the week.”

But Bagwell noted that independent tire and muffler shops work Monday through Friday.  He is also friendly with a couple of the other Richmond, VA based shops and two of them also decided to close on Saturdays.

“My staff has been with me for quite some time. We’re in our late 30s and early 40s and have families and wanted the weekends off,” Bagwell said.  The result is that sales are basically the same. “Some technicians have been with me for 20 years. We’re getting an extra gear out of them now.  Everybody is a lot more energetic.”

Salaries at Audio Express stayed the same, despite the extra day off, Bagwell added.

CJ Sounds in Texas is now closed the first Monday of every month (in addition to closing every Sunday).  It added that one day off a month this past spring to keep the staff from burning out. Owner Israel Martin Del Campo said, “My guys are a little more rested; they get an extra day.  They have a better face on that Tuesday.”

 

 

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7 Comments

  1. We also are closed Sunday and Monday. I’ve been in the business for 37 years, 6 days is not worth it for me and my employees love it.

  2. Several of our competitors decided to close on Saturdays and our Saturday business nearly doubled. As long as that stays the same, we will remain open on Saturday.

  3. Covid has changed a lot for both consumers and shops.

    We have embraced the appointment system. We now prefer drop off and leave instead of customers waiting for their cars. I don’t believe we have lost any business because of this shift and has allowed us to work at a better pace and put out good installs.

    Most mechanic shops are closed Saturday & Sunday so the shop being closed on the weekend is not news to consumers. Many car audio specialty shops are heading into that direction.

  4. I am working through trying to make this decision. Years ago, we were open M-F 9-6, Wednesday 9-9 and Saturday 9-3. It was indicative of the “old days” when customers would stop in Wednesday nights to have repaired radios reinstalled, hang out, eat pizza, etc. When I took over the company several years ago, we started noticing that by 7pm on Wednesdays we were burned out. It would carry over into Thursday and we would be exhausted finishing the week. We started closing at 6 on Wednesdays. Now, we are at a crossroads where I feel the business is more custom and consultative than ever. It seems like the phone calls that come in after 4:30-5:00pm are never that serious. I feel that anyone that wants to set something up with us is making a concerted effort to call or email us earlier in the day or later at night if they are really serious about doing something. Then, once something is sold, parts are being ordered more than ever, and the job is being booked out. COVID also resulted in less “waiters” and customers are definitely making more of an effort to drop things off. During the height of the COVID lockdown, we started coming in around 7:30 to get a head start for the day, since the showroom was effectively closed. Depending on the workload we would leave 3:30, 4:30, etc. Well, getting here early and having a free hour before the demands of retail seemed to pay off but now our schedule is effectively 7:30-6 or whenever the last client needs to come in to pick up. I am considering going 8-5 during the week but am so hesitant to change the “old ways.” It is encouraging to hear from others that sales volume does not seem to change after making the adjustment. I think it is due to the changes in our business where it is going more appointment based, specialty parts are being ordered just in time, etc. I welcome any advice, comments, or dialog from others who are weighing these changes. Personal life matters too!

  5. Good to hear. The work/life balance in America has become terrible, with jobs expecting 110% out of employees and not giving a darn if they get to enjoy themselves off hours. Glad to hear there are some smart bosses out there who realize a refreshed employee is a happy one. And a happy employees is a productive one.

  6. I’m a small shop in western New York, where the majority of my customers are returning customers or referrals. For summer we switched to (4) 10 hour days so we always have a 3 day weekend. It’s only myself (46) and my salesman (35) and we both have 10 year old sons on summer vacation. We decided to take an extra day and spend it with them after all the craziness of the past year. We are WAY more productive and I haven’t had a customer complain yet, and honestly if they did I wouldn’t care. I’m making enough to pay him, bills, and myself. Sometimes being a small shop has its perks.

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