The Evolving Dayparts Street Fight

The Evolving Dayparts

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Dayparts no longer apply to when your favorite TV shows are on. In fact, streaming and recording have made that concept outdated.

However, dayparts are alive and well when MULO (multi-location) brands try to understand consumer behaviors better. Knowing when people shop and eat can help brands staff, add (or reduce) inventory, and even post social media or text messages.

Convenience stores (C-stores) are discovering that consumer eating patterns have changed. Younger people eat smaller meals throughout the day and well into the night. People no longer have the types of commutes they had pre-pandemic, so early morning rush hours have dwindled.

This chart from C-Store Dive illustrates that people seem to be snacking all day.

People are not only snacking differently; they’re shopping differently.

The most online shopping happens on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Weekends used to be reserved for errands, but shoppers seem to be creating their own “long weekends” for online buying.

Not surprisingly, the holiday months of November and December are the busiest retail months, and January and February are the slowest (with the exception of Valentine’s Day gifting).

The shopping mall has changed. It’s as likely to hold an eatertainment venue or pickleball courts as an anchor department store. Perhaps that’s why people are spending more time during mall visits.

So, whether you sell jerky sticks and beer or diamond jewelry, if you operate a MULO brand, you must track and analyze:

  • When consumers are visiting and buying
  • Whether shopper and diner demographics are having an impact on their behavior
  • What they’re consuming at all times of day and night
  • How the trends are changing over time
  • The types and amount of staff you need throughout the year and over 24-hour periods
  • Opportunities for changing hours to meet consumers’ needs

Although time is finite, how consumers spend it is subject to change. And, if you want to capitalize on every buyer opportunity, you must understand your dayparts!


Nancy A Shenker, senior editor with Street Fight, is a former big brand (Citibank, Mastercard, Reed Exhibitions) marketing strategist and leader. She has been featured in, the New York Times and Forbes.
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