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Old 03-26-2009, 08:34 PM
 
Location: Beautiful place in Virginia
2,658 posts, read 10,568,563 times
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A friend was having a discussion with me regarding stores closing at the posted time.

He used to work in a Blockbuster and they worked to clean up after the store hours. However, his wife went to a Dunkin Doughnuts and they were hurrying her out the door 10 minutes until closing.

I had a similar experience at a Baskin Robbins in 1990. It was 845 PM and they served us. We were eating and they had the lights turned off, slamming the chairs onto the tables and were standing at the door with their purses in hand saying 'Well?!!!!!" We were like, "Uh, don't you close at 9 PM?

Malls are similar. If you're not in there by 15 minutes until, you're not getting in.

I have long since moved away from buying in stores since I find there is little expertise or any reason to buy from someone who has no real desire to provide customer service.

I can easily click "Buy it now" or "Add to Cart" and save the money and hassle of going to a store nowadays. I just spent about $500 in the past week and everything was online.

Sorry to digress but what's your experience with 'store closing' based upon their 'closing time'?
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Old 03-26-2009, 08:57 PM
 
Location: Coachella Valley, California
15,566 posts, read 36,927,042 times
Reputation: 13202
I know those people want to go home, but posted hours are posted hours.

I had the opposite experience with a friend of mine a few months ago. She and I went out shopping and I think we were in an Ann Taylor Loft store. Anyway, it was 8:55 pm and they close at 9pm. I was at the cash register having my items rung up. They had turned off the music, locked the doors, and the ladies were sweeping and getting the store in order for the next day. My friend, however, was still in the fitting rooms trying on clothes. I figured she'd hurry up and get out of there. No. She asks the sales ladies to bring her MORE clothes to try on (different sizes). Then she comes out of the dressing rooms after a while and I figured she was done and we can go now. No. She browsed the racks and took MORE stuff back to the fitting rooms to try on. Again, asking the sales ladis to bring other sizes. I was kind of embarrassed. By the time she was all finished and paid for the few items she bought, it was 9:40. I'm sure those people are in no hurry to see us come back to shop!
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Old 03-26-2009, 09:05 PM
 
Location: So. of Rosarito, Baja, Mexico
6,704 posts, read 18,971,178 times
Reputation: 6192
I was in a McDonalds in Mexico City one night talking tenderly to a young woman I was with and all of a sudden noticed that it was VERY quiet in the place. Looking around saw that they had cleaned the place and no one said a word to me. I was so intent with my lady friend and never realized they were closed. The time was one hr after closing when we got up and the mgr unlocked the door to let us out.

Now that is what I would call service to a customer instead of the employees pushing you out the door.

Saw this as normal service in many eating establishments in Mexico City likewise with other cities I have been too in Mexico.

Bar tab? NO problem in Mexico at some discos I've been too. (In the Us was once asked for my credit card inorder to have a bar tab. I was insulted since I was with a lady friend and never went back to that place). Eating Tacos at a outside foodstand...NO problem as they generally do not keep record of how many you eat or the soft drinks consumed. It works well on a HONOR system and no one cheats. Try that in the US at many places...cash with each drink or food.

Nothing to do with closing really...just a side note of info for comparison.

Some folks reading this will nod their heads with agreement from experience and others will WHAT!!!!

Steve
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Old 03-26-2009, 09:51 PM
 
Location: Northeast NJ
345 posts, read 580,211 times
Reputation: 351
Warning: Incoming perspective of a disgruntled retail employee:

I work at a Barnes & Noble. We start preparing to close 15 minutes before the closing time. That is, we make an announcement that encourages people to start wrapping up, and we post people at the doors to advise people still coming in that we're closing soon. As soon as closing time hits, we no longer let any people in the store, but of course, there are always a few idiots who stick around. Now, keep in mind, these days we're fairly short-staffed, so between the people watching the doors, and the people stuck manning the registers, we can't really start cleaning up the store. The cleaning up, by the way, takes anywhere between an hour and and hour and a half, because people are animals. So that, plus the people who take 10 minutes to find their way to the exit, is probably the reason many stores start closing up earlier. Retail employees are people too, and just because you are so lacking in a soul that you must spend your entire day in a bookstore, doesn't mean that we don't all want to go home.

One of the worst I ever encountered was a couple of guys playing a game of chess in our cafe, who, after 20 minutes and multiple reminders that we were in fact closed, finally decided to wrap up their game and mosey on out. I was seriously tempted to go up there and flip the chess board - because I'm fairly sure they would have flipped a **** / had a heart attack / tried to murder me.
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Old 03-26-2009, 11:14 PM
 
214 posts, read 508,253 times
Reputation: 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by titaniummd View Post
A friend was having a discussion with me regarding stores closing at the posted time.

He used to work in a Blockbuster and they worked to clean up after the store hours. However, his wife went to a Dunkin Doughnuts and they were hurrying her out the door 10 minutes until closing.

I had a similar experience at a Baskin Robbins in 1990. It was 845 PM and they served us. We were eating and they had the lights turned off, slamming the chairs onto the tables and were standing at the door with their purses in hand saying 'Well?!!!!!" We were like, "Uh, don't you close at 9 PM?

Malls are similar. If you're not in there by 15 minutes until, you're not getting in.

I have long since moved away from buying in stores since I find there is little expertise or any reason to buy from someone who has no real desire to provide customer service.

I can easily click "Buy it now" or "Add to Cart" and save the money and hassle of going to a store nowadays. I just spent about $500 in the past week and everything was online.

Sorry to digress but what's your experience with 'store closing' based upon their 'closing time'?

Thank goodness I dont work in customer service because I sure as hek dont like serving people anything.

Your right about there being little expertise, or no real desire to provide customer service when you shop in stores. The employees are not there because they want to be, they are there to get paid..earn money. Its not like they said "hey Im gonna wake up today and put on this stupid looking outfit and go serve people today and loooooove it". No, doesnt work like that. They probably applied to work at 10 different stores and thats the one that hired them. People just work for the money, to get paid to enjoy there own life. Nobody really wants to work at Publix or Toys R Us, etc. They are not going to work because they enjoy making you or anyone else happy, or because they enjoy serving you, they are just there to earn a paycheck so they can get money. All these commercials where the employees are extra happy, and willing to serve with a smile, are absolutely fake. You know it, I know it, everyone should know it. Those commercials are created by Marketing people who make good money, to lure potential customers in with a false sense of security, that the employees are ultra happy to serve, when in actuality the employees, dont know the product, dont want to be there, and dont really like you. They just want a paycheck.

Have you ever worked in customer service where customers would come in 10 mins from closing time? I have, several years ago. I hated it. Its always the people who come in that late who wanted the works too.

Baskin Robbins and all these other companies are owned by filthy rich old millionaires, who live in mansions and who have all kinds of marketing people trying to convince you how happy and willing to serve there employees are, but we all know thats a load of BS, they just want the customers and the employees want the paycheck. Thats it. It all revolves around money. Nobody is truly in it to make someone else happy.

When its that close to closing time, you should have got your ice cream to go. The employees want to take off there costumes and go home to there family, not watch you munch Ice Cream.

I cant even believe you remember that Baskin Robins story so well, it was 20 years ago. I dont even remember how I looked 20 years ago, let alone where I ate Ice Cream.

Last edited by Edison Winter; 03-26-2009 at 11:36 PM..
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Old 03-27-2009, 01:04 AM
 
Location: Chicago
6,022 posts, read 13,689,113 times
Reputation: 8061
from my experiences in retail, most of the stores I worked in had people starting to clean up before the official closing time. one reason for this is because in many cases, we have the same number of people at closing time that we had during the busy after work rush. this means that when the store quiets down, there will be quite a few people w/ little to do. the other obvious reason is that people that work there do want to get home and there's the issue w/ overtime if an employee needs to stay very late past closing. currently, w/ the economy so bad, my boss has really been cracking down on overtime, even going as far as sending repeat offenders home or telling them not to come in if they had too much overtime

I have so many fun stories about late shoppers. these people are so common in supermarkets. I remember one customer coming in around 9:45 (store closes at 10pm) and took her sweet precious time shopping (I swear it took her 5 minutes just to pick a cantaloupe!). she demanded custom service at the meat, bakery, and deli counter, which meant the cutters and slicers had to be cleaned off again afterward. by the time she finally came up to the register w/ her cart, it was about 10:45. and guess who was the lucky cashier who had to take her? and also guess who missed her last bus home and had to pay for a cab to get home? (luckily my boss reimbursed me, though the cab fare alone was almost 50% of the customer's purchase). by the time the order was rung up and bagged, my belt was cleaned, and I was punched out, it was 11:30, almost 80 minutes after I was supposed to leave. after that point, we had signs posted at all the counters that they were closed for custom service after 9:30pm.

most stores I worked in didn't shoo customers out exactly at closing time, however customers seem to think this is a reason to not hurry up w/ their purchases and end up dragging their feet. I've also worked in a book store and it's amazing how people refuse to leave put down the book they've been reading for 2+ hours and get off of the couch! there are just some people you need to chase out, purchases be damned, otherwise they'd never leave! folks have got to realize that retail employees are people too, people w/ buses and trains to catch, with families to go home to, w/ responsibilities outside of the store that need to be taken care of, and some customers just act so selfishly when they drag their feet at closing time and neglect to realize that their wasting the employee(s) time as well

ETA: you know what's nice? when people actually say "thank you" when they leave after closing time. it would be nice if all the people doing their last minute shopping would at least acknowledge the fact that they are throwing some people's schedules off by saying thank you when they leave. we understand that there are real legit instances when one must run into a store at the last minute, just hate it when people take their sweet precious time to leave and seem to purposely drag their feet or are oblivious to the needs of the employees

Last edited by eevee; 03-27-2009 at 01:16 AM..
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Old 03-27-2009, 01:22 AM
 
214 posts, read 508,253 times
Reputation: 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by eevee View Post
from my experiences in retail, most of the stores I worked in had people starting to clean up before the official closing time. one reason for this is because in many cases, we have the same number of people at closing time that we had during the busy after work rush. this means that when the store quiets down, there will be quite a few people w/ little to do. the other obvious reason is that people that work there do want to get home and there's the issue w/ overtime if an employee needs to stay very late past closing. currently, w/ the economy so bad, my boss has really been cracking down on overtime, even going as far as sending repeat offenders home or telling them not to come in if they had too much overtime

I have so many fun stories about late shoppers. these people are so common in supermarkets. I remember one customer coming in around 9:45 (store closes at 10pm) and took her sweet precious time shopping (I swear it took her 5 minutes just to pick a cantaloupe!). she demanded custom service at the meat, bakery, and deli counter, which meant the cutters and slicers had to be cleaned off again afterward. by the time she finally came up to the register w/ her cart, it was about 10:45. and guess who was the lucky cashier who had to take her? and also guess who missed her last bus home and had to pay for a cab to get home? (luckily my boss reimbursed me, though the cab fare alone was almost 50% of the customer's purchase). by the time the order was rung up and bagged, my belt was cleaned, and I was punched out, it was 11:30, almost 80 minutes after I was supposed to leave. after that point, we had signs posted at all the counters that they were closed for custom service after 9:30pm.

most stores I worked in didn't shoo customers out exactly at closing time, however customers seem to think this is a reason to not hurry up w/ their purchases and end up dragging their feet. I've also worked in a book store and it's amazing how people refuse to leave put down the book they've been reading for 2+ hours and get off of the couch! there are just some people you need to chase out, purchases be damned, otherwise they'd never leave! folks have got to realize that retail employees are people too, people w/ buses and trains to catch, with families to go home to, w/ responsibilities outside of the store that need to be taken care of, and some customers just act so selfishly when they drag their feet at closing time and neglect to realize that their wasting the employee(s) time as well
Good post.

I think some people, just go out of there way to try and make someone elses day bad.

Some people really try and juice everything they can out of a store, whether they are paying for it, or just mooching by reading a book.

Your boss should have rang the lady up, so you didnt have to miss your bus.

I worked in customer service when I was younger, and I will never ever do that again. To many attitudes to deal with, and to many people who think there entitled to everything.
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Old 03-27-2009, 04:06 AM
 
Location: Southern California
15,087 posts, read 17,818,851 times
Reputation: 10301
I used to work at In-N-Out Burger and 'lucky' for me, I worked at one of the stores that did not have an indoor dining area so there was no need to close down and lock the store, so to speak. But we had an outdoor dining area and parking lot; I recall people lingering around close to, and after, we closed at 1:00am (or 1:30am on weekends). It was no bother to us as we could go about closing the store down. I don't remember if we actually turned the lights out on anyone. I think the dead silence due to a lack of new customers was a good hint. As for the drive-thru customers, we would drag out these signs and block-off the drive thru entrances at closing time sharp. Sometimes we'd get someone in at 12:55 or something like that but it was usually no problem unless the customer in question was ordering a meal for a family. In any event, we never got out of there until maybe an hour after closing anyway because before we left we had to make sure the store was really clean (In-N-Out takes cleanliness seriously!) and restock everything so that basically it was ready to go the next morning.

On the other hand, when I worked at Music Plus, we obviously had an indoor retail area and we would constantly get late customers coming for that a video or a CD that they just had to get. Unfortunately, they'd sometimes stick around looking at stuff not knowing what they wanted. What we usually did was mention we were closing/closed. We would sometimes start rolling out the security gates while they were in the store. For added effect we silenced the place by turning-off all media. If they were still there 15 minutes after closing, some of the managers even went so far as to slam the gates closed as a hint. It usually worked but that seemed to me to be rude.

When Music Plus became Blockbuster Music, there was a change in management (for a variety of unrelated reasons) and along with that change came new closing procedures. As long as a customer was in the store we had to leave everything running and never close the security gates. We still locked the doors though.

These days I am no longer in retail but I am, as a courtesy to those who are, well aware of closing times. If it is within 15 minutes of closing time, I make a point of either a) not going into the store/restaurant and calling it a night, or b) making the trip extremely short - as in practically running through the store. I don't even bother going to restaurants within 30 minutes of closing.
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Old 03-27-2009, 10:32 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
18,540 posts, read 55,453,855 times
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Customers usually don't know what issues are involved in closing a location for the night.

First, although a manager has to work whatever hours are assigned without overtime, employees are paid "on the clock" A location where the employees work late will be noticed by the beancounters and the management will be reprimanded or even changed. You would not believe how thin the margin of profitability is at some locations, and payroll is a major controllable expense.

Second, a majority of strong arm robberies occur at or just after closing time. People who come into a location late and justifiably held with suspicion. If you've ever been held up at gunpoint, you really don't give a rat's a** for all the whiny excuses of why the customer is late and has to hang around.

Third, when a location does stay open a little late, that will be used as a leverage point, and the store manager will find themselves staying later and later as people care less and less. For a short while, when we had sellout crowds at a movie theatre, I would hold the film until everyone was seated, as a courtesy to the customers. The response was a thank-you and them showing up even more late the next time around. Once I realized this, showtimes went back to advertised showtimes and the customers who complained got a deaf ear.

Fourth, there is usually end of the day paperwork and deposits as well as cleanup. Once computers are closed or registers Z'd out, many locations only have a short time to transmit information to corporate headquarters. Late customers don't have to report to supervisors.

Fifth, in some locations, the alarms and heating and cooling systems are not controlled locally. The AC may cut off half an hour before closing to save energy. A keying in of an alarm code may be reported back to corporate.

Yeah employees want to go home. Management deals with that all the time. Good management understands the trade-offs and concerns.
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Old 03-27-2009, 10:56 AM
 
8,778 posts, read 16,982,908 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by titaniummd View Post
I had a similar experience at a Baskin Robbins in 1990. It was 845 PM and they..............
Damn, i thought i had a memory like an elephant.
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