A reviewer wondered: 'What retail shop closes at 2 on a Saturday?!?!?!'

Matthew Phillips has tried various store hours over the years in an effort to keep his business running smoothly while still allowing work-life balance for employees.

Phillips, who owns The Jewelry Emporium in Cookeville, TN, finally settled on a schedule that involves being open half the day on Saturday and not at all on Sunday.

Unfortunately, not everyone likes that schedule. A customer recently left the store a three-star review on Google with some stinging criticism: "Their hours are terrible. What retail shop closes at 2 on a Saturday?!?!?!"

Phillips recently shared the review and his response in the closed Facebook group Jewelers Helping Jewelers. (He gave INSTORE permission to share the story.)

He told the group: "Just got this review. Funny thing was that we were still at the shop and had customers!"

Phillips responded to the review with a well-reasoned explanation highlighting how much The Jewelery Emporium cares about its employees and its community.

Sorry we missed you!

When we first opened in 1995 as a family owned and operated business, we explored many hours of business. We discovered that in order for our team to spend time with their families and to attend community events and weddings it was beneficial for us to only work half days on Saturday and to never be open on Sundays. This way we can keep our employee morale high and support our wonderful city events such as the Fall Fun Fest that is going on this weekend.

We are sorry to inconvenience you and hope that we can service you during our normal business hours. We are open 10-6 Monday through Friday and 10-2 on Saturdays.

Who can argue with that?

The response covers many of the bases outlined in a recent column by Ashley Stegall on dealing with bad reviews. It is, as Stegall advises, "unrehearsed, authentic and kind" and it takes into account not only the reviewer but also future readers.

Of course, Phillips' lighter weekend schedule won't work for every jeweler. But it's one way to make sure that your business doesn't claim your every waking hour.

And it's certainly the case that many jewelers put in long hours.

A few years ago, as part of our annual Big Survey, we asked jewelers, "How many hours do you work a week?"

The most popular answer, making up 45 percent of responses, was 50 hours. In second place, representing 28 percent of respondents, was 60 hours.

Twenty-two percent of respondents said they worked 40 hours a week, while 5 percent said they worked 30 hours and 1 percent said they worked 20 hours.

The Jewelery Emporium's short weekend hours don't seem to bother most of its customers. The business has 18 other Google reviews, all of which are five stars.

 
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