If you like Daylight Savings Time, good news may be on the horizon.

Heads up! March 10 is the start of Daylight Savings Time (DST). You’re going to lose an hour of sleep, but all that additional sunshine is great, right?

Many of our national lawmakers seem to agree that their constituents want Daylight Savings Time as the rule, not the exception. In fact, H.R. 69, more widely known as the Sunshine Protection Act, was proposed by the Senate in 2021 to make DST permanent throughout all states, though it ultimately failed in the House. (Alaska, Arizona, and Hawaii, and U.S. territories, including American Samoa, Guam, the Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, currently do not change their clocks at all.)

That hasn’t dulled the desire for the other individual states to abolish standard time. In fact, 19 state legislatures are advancing proposals for a full-time move to DST. A ballot measure in California got 60 percent of the vote, but that was only to provide state lawmakers the right to change the practice, which hasn’t yet happened.

The debate over DST may seem relatively new, but the policy’s history is full of twists and turns, beginning when Benjamin Franklin first outlined a similar concept in 1784. However it was in a satirical article (poking fun at Napoleon’s France) not to be taken seriously.

It took over a hundred years for the concept to return to the public eye. In 1907, British builder William Willett advocated for it in his most serious essay, “The Waste of Daylight.” Willett’s idea was to change the clocks during the summer months to allow more daylight in the evenings, reducing the reliance on artificial lighting.

Despite Willett’s campaigning, DST wasn’t widely adopted until World War I, when Germany and its allies first implemented it on April 30, 1916, to save fuel for the war effort. The practice was quickly followed by the United Kingdom and many other countries, including the United States in 1918.

The Uniform Time Act of 1966 established the practice of DST across our nation, although states had the option of keeping their hours the same all through the year. The start and end dates for DST have changed a few times since, most recently in 2007, when the Energy Policy Act of 2005 extended DST by about a month in the U.S.

Now we know that any leading convenience store owner has fine-tuned their store to maximize profit, day or night. Still, the extra daylight isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and may have its own advantages.

Extended evenings mean more people hitting the road later in the day, maybe after work. An evening road trip can easily turn into a late-night snack run, with all the retail opportunities that presents.

Social media engagement can remind store followers of the time change, while also sharing helpful tips or products that fit well within the DST period. Deals that invite customers to “check-in” online during the extra hour of DST daylight are one such idea. Social media is also a good way to get the word out about community events in which the store may be engaged during its extended daylight hours.

Seasonal promotions are part of a successful c-store’s business model; they’re really become part of the industry’s identity at this point. So why not capitalize on a special event like DST? Just think of the possibilities:

  • Spring Into Savings Sale: Offer special discounts or bundle deals on typical spring items like allergy medicine, rain gear, and car wash coupons to celebrate the arrival of longer days.
  • DST Early Bird Special: Reward customers who come in early with discounts on coffee and breakfast items for the first hour after opening.
  • Evening Rush Hour Deals: Promote quick dinner solutions and ready-to-eat meals with discounts during the new extended evening daylight hours.
  • Time Change Lottery Ticket Blast: Encourage customers to try their luck with a scratcher promotion tied to DST, perhaps even offering a “second chance” drawing with tickets purchased in the extra daylight hour.
  • Twilight Time Bargains: In the hour before closing, offer special discounts as part of a “twilight sale,” capitalizing on the extra hour of daylight that encourages late shoppers.
  • Social media engagement can remind store followers of the time change, while also sharing helpful tips or products that fit well within the DST period. Deals that invite customers to “check-in” online during the extra hour of DST daylight are one such idea. Social media is also a good way to get the word out about community events in which the store may be engaged during its extended daylight hours.

Of course, some things never change, even during DST, including the need for back office software and the support to stand behind it. SSCS technology works for you morning, noon, and night—DST, or no DST, capable of handling whatever inventory changes or promotions you’re using to take advantage of the season. It keeps store management “in the light” 24/7 regarding what’s really affecting the bottom line. Call us at (800) 927-7277 any time of day, and we’ll be happy to explain in more detail.