This is a tale of Christmas past. It’s a story from a once upon a time when I worked retail at the Old Navy. Most of what follows is true. Some of it is an exaggeration.
The store stayed open later during the holidays to accommodate shoppers who were unable to get their shopping done during normal business hours. I never really understood that policy that most stores adopt. As Christmas approaches, stores stay open later and later. Do later hours really attract more people?
In my years at Old Navy, I never saw it. Two weeks prior to Christmas, we were open until 10pm. The week before Christmas, it was 11pm. In the days leading up to Christmas, it was midnight. I’m not sure that this strategy actually did anything, though. I could count the number of customers we go in our final hour on one hand.
I heard one woman who was grateful for our extended hours. She said she was a nurse working the night shift at the hospital. Our staying open late gave her a chance to buy stuff before going in to work. But I had to question the motives of some of the other late night shoppers.
Particularly, I question the family that brings in three very small children at 9pm to do some shopping. It was a school night! Your 1st grader should have been at home in bed so she could be ready for the next day at school. I’d be able to understand if you had a real purpose for rushing in that late at night. “My daughter ripped a hole in her jeans today and she needs a new pair for school tomorrow!” That makes more sense than leisurely strolling around the store with no real destination.
I’m not trying to judge that mother’s parenting style, but… Yes, I am judging that mother’s parenting style.