As winter descends upon us, the decision to keep our retail store open or to close the doors becomes a challenging dance. While we have tried to establish standardized processes, the unexpected – weekends, school breaks – often throws a curveball into the mix. In this post, I'll delve into the intricate world of retail leadership during winter weather, exploring the tough decisions and delicate balance between responsibility and the bottom line.
At 605 Running Company, we've set a policy to close when schools close during winter. But what about weekends or school breaks? The answer often boils down to my decision as a leader. My responsibility extends beyond profits; I am also accountable for the well-being of my team.
Winter weather in South Dakota can be unforgiving, yet the desire to keep the store open persists. Why? The answer is simple: paychecks. With a team comprised largely of hourly workers, the store being open directly impacts their livelihood. The dilemma intensifies as I grapple with the decision to stay open, knowing that the chances of making up the difference in sales during severe weather are slim. It's a delicate balancing act with financial implications.
A mental push-pull effect comes into play as I weigh the options. Staying open ensures employees get paid, but the harsh reality is that sales might not offset the costs. It becomes a vicious cycle, where the decision to remain open is both a financial gamble and a commitment to supporting the team. I was once told hope is not a strategy. Often times during weeks like this one I find myself hoping a little too much that sales will magically pick-up in a blizzard (if only we delivered pizza in monster trucks).
Amidst the financial considerations, I must also prioritize the health and safety of my team. Deciding when the weather becomes too dangerous for commuting is a responsibility that weighs heavily on my shoulders. Striking the right balance between maintaining operations and ensuring the well-being of employees is a constant challenge.
In light of the imminent blizzard warning and extreme cold in Sioux Falls, I find myself making the difficult decision to close early today and remain closed tomorrow. This decision is not taken lightly, as I understand the impact on both my team and the bottom line. It's a reminder of the tough choices that come with leadership.
In the world of retail leadership, winter weather adds an extra layer of complexity. The delicate dance between financial responsibility, employee well-being, and the unpredictable nature of the weather requires me to navigate a challenging landscape. As we temporarily close our doors, we hope our customers understand the difficult decisions we face and continue to support us online or through our mobile app. After all, inclement weather may be bad for business, but a community's support can weather any storm.
-GREG KOCH | CO-OWNER 605 RUNNING COMPANY
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