The Eaton Centre is open 78.5 hours a week, 52 weeks of the year. Closed only on Christmas Day, every store is open the other 364 days of the year, rain or shine.
If I want to buy my wife a nice blouse from Aritzia or J. Crew I know that Monday through Friday I’ll be able to do so between the hours of 10 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. without fail
Can you say the same about Bayview? Not a chance.
In this issue’s Letters to the Editor section a Leaside resident had some harsh words for the stores on the strip as well as for the Bayview Leaside BIA that’s tasked with improving the shopping experience there.
“I have one further improvement the BIA could implement, ensure their stores are OPEN,” wrote the Leaside resident.
Now in this instance the Leasider was referring to the number of stores on Bayview that were closed on Boxing Day, suggesting no more than 10 percent of them opened on one of the three busiest retail shopping days of the year — the two others being Black Friday and Dec. 23.
Meanwhile, all of the big box stores on Laird were gleefully welcoming shoppers to their establishments and raking in the dough as a result.
On many occasions prior to the formation of the BIA this past year business owners on the strip have been known to gripe both publicly and privately about the many things holding them back from greater success.
Headwinds include the proliferation of corporate stores on Laird who’ve got the financial firepower to carry out lengthy price wars, offer extended operating hours, greater product selection and a significantly better parking situation.
All of these might have some basis in fact but the truth is if you want to compete with the big box stores you’ve got to be open when they are because convenience is everything to dual-income Leaside families with little free time, especially during the day, to make their daily purchases.
“To close two consecutive days during the busiest shopping period of the year is akin to having a beach community’s ice cream parlour close during a long summer weekend,” commented the Leaside resident.
For me it all comes down to bread.
Often, my wife will call me at work and ask me to pick up baked goods from Cobs or Epi Bread on the way home on the Davisville bus. More often than not I end up going to valu-mart or Metro because both of the bakeries close at 6 during most of the work week.
While it’s not the end of the world it seems silly that hardworking families in Leaside can’t enjoy their favourite bread simply because the bakeries have had their ovens going since 3 in the morning and don’t want to remain open past 6, feeling the day’s already been too long.
I feel for them, I truly do. But, like any business, you have an alternative. If you don’t want to meet the needs of your customers you can close your doors for the day(s).
However, when your business goes under don’t blame the big box stores on Laird because the fault will lie squarely on your shoulders.