In a shop-like website, we have a horizontal menu in the header where all categories of items in stock are listed (7-9). Depending on availability of items, some categories may be empty. Usually the list of categories changes once in 3-7 days.
We have the following options:
- Hide links to categories without items.
- Display category page as usual, but displaying "Nothing's found. Come back later." instead of items.
At first sight, the former option is obvious one since we don't want to make user think and waste time while navigating through empty categories (there could be more than one empty category). But the latter option gives us consistency as some old lady who used to navigate to items of her preference from a link which is hidden at the moment could be frustrated with its absence (nope, we're not designing the website for elderly people, just as example).
Which option is better based on your experience?