When do the renovation centers close on Sunday or Wednesday evening? Customers and hardware dealers agree on one thing: the decision to reduce opening hours would be a “lesser evil”, if it means having competent employees on the floor at all times.

Another finding: reduced hours during the week would be the least “intrusive” option for both sides.

Thus, nearly 77% of merchants are ready to make a concession on the schedule rather than reducing the number of employees present to answer questions in the aisles. On the consumer side, 61% of them prefer this option: fewer hours, but service at all times.

This is what emerges from two surveys conducted by CROP and the Quebec Association of Hardware and Building Materials (AQMAT), the results of which were released Thursday in Saint-Hyacinthe at the the organization.

“The merchant is there and the consumer is ready to go there”, summarizes the president and CEO of AQMAT, Richard Darveau. He acknowledges that the two investigations give him a free hand to continue his crusade on the reduction of opening hours. According to him, they cannot apply in the same way to all businesses. “The expectations are not the same when you walk into a bike shop, a convenience store or a hardware store. »

La Presse revealed at the start of the year that nearly half of hardware stores have reduced their opening hours in 2022, according to a review carried out by AQMAT. Of some 800 stores, 400 have made this change. Mr. Darveau nevertheless wants a law to be passed to avoid unfair competition.

“I have members who tell me that they would like to reduce their hours, but they are afraid of the consequences,” he confides.

Thus, among the customers surveyed – residential owners – 68% said that closing their hardware store on Sundays would cause them little or no inconvenience. This proportion increases to 66% if the business was closed on a weekday.

For their part, 71% of merchants believe that a Sunday closing would “not be penalizing” for customers. On the other hand, the idea of ​​closing shop on a weekday rallies few hardware stores since 87% say it is not a good idea.

The results of the two surveys were sent to the office of the Minister of Economy, Innovation and Energy, Pierre Fitzgibbon, as well as to the Conseil québécois du commerce de retail (CQCD) and the Retail Council of Canada. (CCCD).