Dave’s New York: Closing On Sundays
Starting March 2021 we have made the decision that we are going to close Dave’s on Sundays. The store will still be open Monday - Saturday from 10:00am to 6:00pm, and we look forward to seeing everyone soon.
Short Story: There are many factors that have led to the decision to close on Sundays, but the part that stood out above all is that we are a family business. To us this means that family is at the forefront of our minds, and the decisions we make should really keep family as the priority. And if this past year has reminded us of anything, it is of how important family is. We believe that closing on Sundays gives all of our staff a consistent day of the week that allows them to plan time to spend with their family. We think that this is imperative to everyone’s health and important for their friends and loved ones.
Long Story: From the time our store opened in 1963 until the waning days of 1999, our store was never open on Sundays. This was due to a combination of factors, but mostly because of two things: (1) We were located in the Garment District where the garment factories were located, and they were closed on Sundays. And (2) retail was a much different landscape. There was not an incessant drive for retailers to be open all of the time in search of making more money. However, once we moved from our old location to our current space, our overhead more than doubled. Our build-out costs were tremendous and building a customer base was hard. We had to be open 7 days a week as we tried to start anew in this location. All these things added stress to us and to the staff, and made it difficult to balance life and work. Soon enough, the business came first and working 6-7 days, 60-80 hours a week seemed normal.
We are always trying to look for silver linings, and we believe that good can come from almost any situation. So when the pandemic shut down NYC last March, we were immediately thrown back to 21 years ago when we were forced to close, forced to move, and basically lost our business for months while we were trying to find a new home. However, this time was different. The impact of being forced to close, ordered to stay home, and isolated from the public had really put things into perspective. Yes, there was stress about money, but so many of us were really stressed about the health of everyone in our lives. We understood that there would be financial losses, we understood that the future was uncertain, but it also brought to light how important it was to spend time with family and not take anything for granted.
When we reopened the store, it was great to finally see familiar faces again, even if it was behind masks. We were grateful that we could continue to operate Dave’s, even if it was limited due to COVID. However, the Christmas season added more stress and soon enough we were right back to trying to balance costs and revenue. The hours we spent at the store increased and the time we spent with family decreased. Right after the first of the year, we all shared how the stress was taking a toll on our health, our happiness, and our relationships.
We all sat down to talk about this and came out of the conversation with a few very clear thoughts: (1) That closing the store one day a week would be beneficial to the health, wellbeing, and happiness of the team. (2) That closing will impact on our sales in an already very tough retail environment. And (3), that we will do whatever it takes to keep ourselves in business, but it just has to happen Monday to Saturday. Sundays are for the family.
This decision makes us feel that we are rekindling the meaning of a true family business; making your people the priority. We hope you believe in the same things that we do. And we hope to see you soon!
Adam. Dave’s New York