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Dec. 4 2009 - 1:01 pm | 110 views | 0 recommendations | 4 comments

Retailers, Smarten Up!

It’s the first week of December.  Retailers know this is the cash-grab time of year.  So why aren’t stores opening at 9 am?  Sure the big box stores like Walmart are open. But smaller retailers like clothing stores and bookstores – some don’t open until 10 am.  This means something in the world of a busy mom!  You see, us moms drop our kids off at school by 9 am, some schools as early as 8:30.  And, us moms are the biggest shoppers this time of year.  Ho Ho freaking Ho.  We know who does the work, Santa!   And, the ideal time for most of us to shop is straight after the school drop-off.  Not waiting another hour or more.  We are already out and about in our cars (ahem, minivans), and in the mode to get things done.  So, why aren’t retailers obliging?

I just returned from an unsuccessful shopping trip to Chapters/Indigo.  I had a gift idea in mind, and wanted to quickly zip in and out after the school drop-off.  I get there, hop out of the van, get babe in her car seat and schlep us into the Starbucks entrance (moms carrying car seats have a definite schlep to their gait).  Only to find that just Starbucks is open at 9, not Chapters.  Irked, I schlep back to the car with babe, and try to get home to get things done, get a nap in (for her, not me – as if!), and try to find another small window in the day to make that trip. 

Because, by 11 am, I’ll be out to pick up our middle daughter again at kindergarten, so between squeezing in a nap for babe, cleaning house, making lunches, nursing babe again before going out, getting our middle daughter, coming home to feed them both again (babe is on solids now), get babe in for another nap after lunch, doing dishes and chores, going out again to pick up the eldest daughter at school after lunch, nursing again, returning home to bathe older daughters and give them a snack, do piano lessons, homework, do laundry, more chores, and prepare supper, and try to get babe in for another small nap before dinner hour… you can see why I might want to get any bit of shopping done first thing in the morning!  Not to mention that as the day gets busier with school pick-ups, so does the traffic on the roads and the hustle and bustle. 

I’ve talked about this with my mom girlfriends.  They are also bewildered by this seemingly obvious retailing error.  Moms are the shoppers, folks.  Why aren’t the retailers trying to accommodate us?  I don’t even ask for this convenience all year long (though it would be nice).  Just during the busiest time – and biggest shopping season – of the year.  Maybe this is a Canadian retailing phenomenon.   And, maybe I’m just crooked right now.  But, moms, is this too much to ask for? 


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  1. collapse expand

    Maybe the people who work in those stores are also moms, who have to get their own babes to daycare before they can come sell you stuff.

    • collapse expand

      Possibly so, Susan. Or, they could be young adults or college students looking to make more money during the holidays. Or older individuals with grown children who have entered the workforce once again. I’m not talking about mom & pop shops here, I’m referring to larger chain stores that access a wide range of employees. Not just working moms. And, we’re all working moms.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  2. collapse expand

    As someone who works part-time in such a store, a non-mom, here’s a few reasons why you aren’t getting accommodated. Retail is really, really hard, tiring and poorly paid work. Too many customers blow your head off with their demands and rudeness — so 50 percent of those working retail quit or are fired within 90 days. When stores want to save money or boost profits they can’t reduce their rent — so they cut hours and save labor costs.

    Annoying to you.

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    About Me

    I am the author of bestselling vegan cookbooks including "eat, drink & be vegan". I am a stay-at-home mom of 3 young children, and find time to cook, bake, create recipes, and blog somewhere in the day between feeding the kiddos, diapers, nursing babe, laundry, cleaning dishes, cleaning house, cleaning, cleaning, and more cleaning... school drop-offs and pick-ups, and activities. Nap anyone?

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