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Germany loosens up about regulating store hours

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OK, now that I've made what seems to me to be an impenetrable case for shop-closing laws, consider that we do not have these laws in the United States (for the most part). And somehow, against all seeming rationality, the system works, as we all well know. Chick-fil-A voluntarily closes on Sunday, and McDonald's does not; somehow they both make a profit. Many stores stay open 24 hours and the workers love it: they have more options to adjust their working hours. This is good for employment.

Consumers may or may not take advantage of longer hours. In fact, it is the consumers that dictate whether it is in the interest of the store to stay open after hours. Stores might try it and find it pointlessly unprofitable and stop. For some reason I don't understand, most barbershops in the South close on Wednesday. Such is their right. It works for them. When it stops working, they will change.

Or it could go the other way. In my own town, a pharmacy long had short hours (8 a.m. – 5 p.m.) until a big chain store came in across the street with a 24/7 policy. Faced with declining profits, the old store adopted the same hours. Now there are two pharmacies facing each other, each of which is open at all times. Who wins? Both seem profitable, but the real winner here is the consumer.

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