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Woolies goes 24/7 in Queensland

Woolworths (ASX: WOW) will open its first-ever 24-hour supermarket in Queensland on 1 July. The site chosen for the initial open-all-hours supermarket is Brisbane Airport’s Skygate retail precinct. The company identified the site due to the airport’s shift workers who require access to supermarkets outside of normal opening hours, as well as passengers who stand to benefit from around-the-clock access to a full-sized supermarket.

Woolworths’ shareholders have been benefiting from longer opening hours that have effectively meant that their assets are working harder for them. Longer opening hours do require careful management planning though. Extended opening hours need to be balanced by the increased cost-to-serve to make sure costs don’t overrun. For example, the ‘midnight shift’ potentially requires higher salaries to be paid, so management needs to keep an eye on store profitability during lower demand times.

Foolish takeaway

It can be a good feeling for investors to know that their capital is working for them 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Most listed businesses are working for their owners, in some form, no matter the time of day. Not only are retailers like Woolies and Caltex Australia (ASX: CTX) “always open” but consumers can access products like Coca-Cola Amatil (ASX: CCL) and Channel Ten (ASX: TEN) at all hours as well.

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Motley Fool contributor Tim McArthur has no financial interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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