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.”