Shops are generally open from 8:30 – 12:30 and from about 15:30 – 19:30 out of season. Most have one day off, Monday being the most popular. In summer high season in the seaside towns the clothing, jewellery and suchlike shops tend to stay open very late in the evening, but in some towns (Alassio, for example), they close for an hour or so in the evening before re-opening.
If you want to go people watching, then head for Alassio. Take a drink or an ice cream in A Cuvea (Piazza Matteotti) - a prime spot. For a more sedate and historic setting go inside Caffè pasticceria Balzola (Piazza Matteotti). For a very modern and sleek bar, try the all-white Caffe Roma, which is on a corner opposite the Muretto in Corso Dante. If you want to relax with a view of the sea and the bay, try sitting out the back at La Riviera Bar/Pasticceria in via Brennero near the south end of the budello.
For window shopping, Alassio is tops again. Walk the 'budello' from end to end. Also Albenga, Loano, Oneglia and Finale Ligure are quite good. If you want the top designer shops, and don't mind the distance, then head for San Remo and Viale/Corso Matteotti, which runs between the casino and the bus station.
Shopping seems much more attractive in the evening, perhaps because everyone else is out and about doing the same thing.