Mall To Stores: Open At 6 PM On Thanksgiving Day Or We’ll Fine You

Last year, the Walden Galleria near Buffalo, New York welcomed shoppers at midnight on Black Friday. This year, they’re moving that start time back by six hours, and other malls owned by the same company, Pyramid Management, will be opening at dinnertime on the holiday as well.

Now, fining stores that don’t open isn’t unusual: our pals in the retail business tell us that this is normal, and also would happen if a store failed to open or opened late on any ordinary Thursday. However, this leads to problems for stores, especially small, locally-owned ones: are they likely to see any business, and can small stores arrange staff coverage? Will they even do enough business to justify opening up and avoiding the fine?

“We’re just stuck following the rules, because if we didn’t, we’d be fined by the mall and being a small company, that’s substantial to us. We can’t just pay that. We have to stay open,” the owner of a t-shirt store told the local Time Warner Cable news station.

While we’ve only heard reports from managers at the Galleria that the owners have threatened substantial fines, other malls owned by Pyramid Management are opening early on Thanksgiving Day as well, including Crossgates Mall on the other end of New York state.

We contacted Pyramid about store owners’ claims of substantial fines, and will update this post if they get back to us. (Full disclosure: I worked at Pyramid’s headquarters for a week through a temp agency about a decade ago. That will not make them more likely to return our query.)

Buffalo-Area Malls Plan For Thanksgiving Evening Shoppers [YNN/Time Warner Cable] (via Money)

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