Let’s take Simon-owned outlet mall Woodbury Common in upstate New York, part of the company’s Premium Outlets chain and chosen for the highly scientific reason of “I was there this week.” 73 of the mall’s stores will open up at 6 P.M., including food court vendors, because God forbid you have to power-shop for deals at the Calvin Klein outlet without a Cinnabon at dinnertime on Thanksgiving Day. Other stores open at staggered times, right up to 11 P.M.
Gawker published a memo sent from the mall manager to stores at a Simon-owned mall in New Jersey listing the holiday hours. “This being a change from past seasons we wanted to provide you with enough lead time to schedule your staffs accordingly,” the memo says, “and as a friendly reminder all tenants are expected to follow the holiday schedule.” This memo went out about five weeks before the holiday.
An insider contacted us about this, and we asked them whether stores are really required to open early and for all of those hours. Our tipster isn’t authorized to speak for the company, but sent this explanation:
It’s technically mandatory that all stores open at 8pm. However, if they just can’t staff it or their corporate office doesn’t feel it’s in the store’s best interest to open at that time, they can opt out. They have to provide a letter from either their corporate office or a higher-ranking person, such as a regional manager, saying they authorize the store opening at a different time. If they don’t provide this letter and they are not open at 8pm, they’re fined.
The insider notes that small stores and kiosks at their mall plan to close in the wee hours of the morning, then open back up at a reasonable time like 5 A.M.
You can see the full list of Simon properties here, in order to find out which malls you’ll be either boycotting or camping outside of.