What are the best days of the week to open your thrift store?

Your resources are limited - what days of the week should your thrift store be open?

What is the best way to prioritize your resources when deciding which days of the week to keep your thrift store open? We'll explore that question in this article based on aggregated data.

Which opening days are most popular?

Days of the weekPercent of stores
7 days per week7%
Monday through Saturday (closed Sunday)35%
Tuesday through Saturday (closed Sunday and Monday)40%
Wednesday through Saturday (closed Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday)10%

From the table above, you can see the most popular choice is the be open 5 days per week, being closed Sunday and Monday. This is likely because this is the easiest to schedule with limited staff. Most staff will not want to work more than 5 days per week, so if you're open more than 5 days per week, you may be forced to fill some positions more times than you want to. So, a tried and true technique is to be open Tuesday through Saturday.

What day is the busiest day?

It probably comes as little surprise that for most stores, Saturday is their busiest day!

Busiest day of the weekPercent of storesHow much bigger than the slowest day?
Saturday67%119% busier than the slowest day
Friday7%91% busier than the slowest day
Thursday5%82% busier than the slowest day
Wednesday9%71% busier than the slowest day
Tuesday12%129% busier than the slowest day

As the table illustrates, the busiest day at most stores is Saturday, and Saturday is usually more than twice as busy as the slowest day! Tuesday seems to be pretty busy as well in many cases. This may be due to pent up demand when the store reopens on Tuesday after a long weekend off.

What do big stores do?

Let's look at the top 15% of stores in the analysis by total sales volume. What do they do? Of those stores, 75% were open Monday through Saturday, 20% were open Tuesday through Saturday, and 5% were open 7 days per week. So, once a store gets large, they are far more likely to be open Monday through Saturday.

What days are the least busy?

If there are busy days, there are also slow days. How do the various days of the week stack up?

Least busy day of the weekPercent of stores

As you can see from the table above, if you're open on Sunday, it's likely going to be your slowest day. Otherwise, Thursday seems to be the runaway slow day. It's the slowest day in more than half of all stores! So, Thursday may be an ideal day to schedule staff for tidying up inventory, because the number of customers will be low. Or, you could also use that day to run special promotions for bargain hunters. For example, if you do color discounting, maybe increase all discounts by 15 percentage points on Thursday only. Then those who seek out bargains can come in and clean out your old inventory for you! You could also pick Thursday to be your senior discount day.

Final thoughts

It would appear that for most stores with limited staffing resources, the ideal combination of days is Tuesday through Saturday. Once you have a larger store with a larger staff, it's probably reasonable to add Monday to the mix as well, and be double-staffed on Saturday, since Saturday is often twice as busy as the slowest day. For stores that are open on Sunday, it tends to be a slow day, so the added benefit of opening on Sunday is not very great. However, if you're already paying for staff, and you can stretch your schedule out to 7 days, adding Sunday as a shopping day may not hurt.