The Good Old Days In Regards To Shopping Hours

The good old days! I reckon almost everyone had been exposed to that old cliché, at least once in their life. Possibly from a grandparent, a parent or perhaps even using themselves when talking to their children.

The good old day implies things used to be better in times gone by. This somehow doesn’t seem to apply in the argument over extended shopping hours in South Australia, at least when the Duopoly, Coles and Woolworths, and the interests of the major department stores and shopping centres are concerned. They want people to believe that they deserve more shopping hours.

I remember the good old days, some 35 years ago when the shops were only open 5 1/2 days per week. I remember those Saturdays when the shops closed at 12.30 how the shops used to be so busy that every checkout used to be open, especially as it got closer to closing time, and more often than not there were lines of people waiting to get served. Almost every checkout had a young boy or girl packing the groceries into bags just to move those lines a little bit quicker.

After some heavy lobbying by self interested parties the government gave into the cock and bull story that extended hours would increase employment and that it’s what people wanted. BULLSHIT!

So the hours were extended on Saturday. Instead of more jobs being created the packers slowly started to disappear. Saturday was no longer as busy as they once were and so less checkout operators were needed. The winners were shoppers, who could now sleep in, and the big companies who were taking business away from the smaller convenience stores. The losers were the shop assistants who were forces to work longer hours at the expense of spending quality time with their families.

A few more years went by and then the lobbying started again with renewed vigor. naturally the people deserved more shopping hours and if you keep telling people often enough that their rights are being deprived, sooner or later they will start to believe it. More lies and bullshit as they promise the Government, once again that it will create jobs.

Sunday trade then came into existence but were more jobs created? Not according to some store managers that I talked to at the time. They simply staggered the shifts. If you worked Sunday you would get Monday off. Salaried staff were also forced to work longer hours as this did not affect their wage budget.

As people changed their shopping hours the shops discovered on certain days that just weren’t making enough to cover their overheads. To improve profits they had to make certain cost cuts. Do you remember the days when you would go into those major department stores like Myer and David Jones and sales staff would come up to you asking if you needed assistance? Shit, today you’d be struggling to find anyone, and when you do they can’t help you because it’s not their department.  So, where are all the extra jobs those extra shopping hours were supposed to create?

Finally we arrive at the present time. You would think that seeing as how we have shopping seven days a week that the Duopoly and the department stores would be happy, wouldn’t you? Not on your bloody life. With the passing of boxing day on December 26th 2009 the lobbying has started all over again. The people have the right to shop on public holidays don’t they? And surely longer hours will create more jobs?

Do you remember the good old days?

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This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. BoA fan

    If find your take interesting … however, do you remember the good old days when you couldn’t actually get to many shops, because you were working the only times they were open? I think forcing shops to close is completely daft, and just makes it harder for me to get stuff when I need it. Sunday trading laws especially!
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  2. BS Artist

    Perhaps, but they are now open 7 days a week, do we really need them to open public holidays as well. What about the shop assistants, don’t they need to spend time with the family? What of all the small business , don’t they deserve to make a living?

    If you were to add all the jobs provided by small business it would be a sizable number. These guys who want to open every single day are not concerned about the rights of the people. All they want is to squeeze every dollar possible from them, and to close all the small guys down so they have the monopoly.

  3. Mitch

    That’s an interesting take on things, Sire. It must depend on where people live. For instance, if you live in New York state and don’t stay open 24 hours a day, your business will be severely limited because we, the people, want our stores to always be accessible, just in case we need something at 3:30 in the morning. That’s why we have 24 hour grocery stores and Super Walmart’s that stay open 24 hours a day, and restaurants that stay open 24 hours that, during those off hours, actually will be filled up for the after-clubbing crowd.

    I don’t know how well that flies in places like Maine and North Dakota, where the populations are much smaller, which is why I say that maybe it depends on where one lives and what the population is like.
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  4. BS Artist

    OK, let’s put this in perspective. The population if new York is 19,490,297 whereas the population of the whole of South Australia is 1,584,500, so you see we don’t have the numbers to sustain opening those hours.

    Having said that, there are service stations that open 24/7

  5. The Real Josh

    Seems that we have gotten what we wanted. We wanted the ability to have anything and everything we wanted when we wanted it. The downside to that is we got it at the cost of service. I absolutely hate when people hand me back my change (cuz I still use cash, how old fashion I know) without looking and tell me how much is there off of their screen. I know humans to much and know that people have been failing math for decades. I believe one in ten cash transactions could be messed up given the time of day and how busy they are. I wonder if someone did a study only paying cash for thing for a whole year without correcting anyone that made a mistake how much it would cost over the year. My guess is little but who knows we might be surprised.
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    1. BS Artist

      Actually Josh, it could amount to more than you realize. I still use cash and there are times when I’ve been shorted ten bucks or so. there are also times when I’ve been given too much change which I will return. Not everyone does that and so I can only imagine how much the stores are losing.

        1. BS Artist

          We’ve actually got some supermarkets where instead of paying the checkout operator you feed in your credit card or cash and it gives the correct change. Now that’s pretty neat, although I would say that sooner or later their jobs would be in jeopardy.

  6. peter petterson

    I remenber it here. Five days a week and a late night Thurs or Frid. Sat shopping at one designated area usually at a beach shopping area. then Saturday everywhere. few more years abnd subday as well. The BS, the consumers wanted the extra shopping, but the workers didn’t. Young shop assistants had to give up Sat sport as a consequence. Wages didn’t cover the extra work and loss of home life.

    Now they are after Easter Sunday, not quite yet, but they are putting the pressure on. We have only 3 1/2 days of non-shopping in NZ. Christmas day, Good Friday, Easter sunday and Anzac Day until 1pm.

    Positive change? BS. Many years ago they used to say NZ was asleep during the weekends, and wasn’t it great. Gardening, sports, going for car rides, visiting family, run down to the pub – fantastic!

    1. BS Artist

      Yep, and it’s all gone down the toilet since then. Honestly where is the sense in being able to shop 365 days of the year. It’s not necessary and those who say it is have an ulterior motive.

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