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Bowker Motor Group stops Sunday trading to improve staff work-life balance

  • Bowker dealership chain reduces opening times from seven days a week to six
  • Experimental move aims to give employees more leisure time with families and friends
  • Major changes in customer habits have been noticed since lockdowns
  • Motor group is seeing higher footfall during the week

Time 11:15 am, May 15, 2023

Bowker Motor Group has joined the growing number of dealerships opting to close on Sundays to give staff a better work-life balance.

As of yesterday, its BMW and Mini showrooms in Preston and Blackburn are no longer opening on Sundays on a trial basis that is expected to continue until the autumn.

Bowker said the decision to reduce its opening times from seven days a week to six will give its employees extra leisure time with families and friends.


Over the past year, Barretts, Burrows and Pentagon have all gone down the six-day route for the same reason.

Bowker sales director Chris Eccles said: ‘We’ve seen significant changes in customer habits since the Covid lockdown.

‘New working patterns also mean that customers have more flexibility when they visit. Higher footfall during the week bears this out.


‘Having spoken to customers and staff, we are happy that we can maintain our excellent retail service over six days instead of seven.

‘Our decision to close on Sundays also prioritises the well-being of Bowker BMW and Mini employees.

‘This is important. We want our employees to enjoy an excellent work-life balance. More leisure time will mean happier staff, better performance, and stronger loyalty to our business.’

He added: ‘Our online retail experience via the Bowker website will remain available 24 hours a day and seven days a week as usual.’

Bowker says savings in heating and lighting the centres will also further cut the family-owned business’s carbon footprint.

In March, Bowker began installing 1,600 solar panels that will allow its car centres to generate a quarter of their electricity from the sun’s energy and reduce their carbon footprint by 130 tonnes a year.

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.



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