Cutting hours at the mall?

I’m sure mall developers have studied the economics of this move, and they probably find that the first and last 30 to 60 minutes the doors are open are relatively unproductive in terms of foot traffic vs. the costs of payroll, utilities, and so on. However, there are a couple of strategic costs associated with these moves:

1. How important is that first and last half-hour to the maintenance, restocking and recovery of store shelves? Will some retailers maintain a staff outside of “open hours” to help execute properly?

2. Will the reduction in hours contribute to the long-term decline of the mall? Big-box retailers (think Target and Kohl’s, for example) figured out some time ago that the convenience of longer hours provides a distinct competitive advantage.

These decisions may make short-term economic sense but help contribute to the long-term irrelevance of the regional mall.

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