An open sign has been described as “a beacon of connection between businesses and consumers.”  While this may be a bit melodramatic, it’s true that nothing is better at communicating that your shop is ready to welcome customers.  If you are in a mall, you probably have set hours. But for the rest of the retail world, hours are all over the place. The shortage of employees has made it a challenge to be open the long hours we had pre-pandemic. 

An LED sign is an inexpensive way to signal that you are open, with prices starting at below $100.  Traditional glass neon signs take much more energy, and also give off more heat. An LED sign is usually made of materials that are fully recyclable, which means they have a smaller carbon footprint.

They also come in a wide range of colors, and can be can be bent into more sophisticated shapes. It’s fun to select one that fits your style of business – there are open signs with flowers, coffee cups or diamonds on them, and many different are available.  When we helped our local branch library choose one a decade ago, color was the only factor. Today they could select a stock design with a picture of a book and the words Public Library, Open Late, and Free Internet.

It is essential that you have a foolproof system for making sure that your open sign is lit when you are open, and off when you are not. We have ours on a timer that works well, although it was a challenge to find one that would take seven different settings for the seven days of the week.  Keep in mind that when you close for a holiday you will need to remember to turn the open sign off, and to turn it back on when you reopen.

It’s also important to have a sign on the door listing your hours, and to have them listed on your website – that’s one of the most common details consumers are looking for online. Make sure that Google knows your hours too, as well as what holidays you are closed. Here’s the link, in case you aren’t sure they’re up to date.

Happy Retailing,

Carol “Orange” Schroeder

Please note that there won’t be a Specialty Shop Retailing blog next week