15 Nov 2014

Mall threatens to fine stores $200 an hour for being closed on Thanksgiving

An upstate New York shopping mall is threatening to fine retailers about $200 an hour if they fail to open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving.
Walden Galleria, a suburban Buffalo retail complex with more than 200 stores, told store managers in a meeting last week that they must open their doors when the shopping center opens on the holiday, or pay penalties specified in leases, 10 managers told The Huffington Post on Tuesday. Waiting until midnight to open may cost stores $1,200 or more.
Struggling to compete with big-box stores and online retailers, shopping malls aroundthe country plan to kick off Black Friday early by opening on Thanksgiving. The malls are trying to keep up with stores like Kmart, Target and Walmart, which have all pushed holiday shopping's start date to turkey day.
It’s not uncommon for mall property managers to penalize stores for time spent closed when the rest of the mall is open. Though the practice still can ignite controversy. InAlbany, New York this year when a shopping mall refused to close despite a snowstorm, stores stayed open to avoid fines and many workers complained.
Malls are keenly interested in keeping its shops open. Part of the rent the mall collects from each store is based on its sales. If a store is closed during mall hours -- particularly busy holiday shopping hours -- it theoretically would make less money and would pay less rent, said Steven Gursky, an attorney who handles retail leasing for the New York-based law firm Olshan Frome Wolosky.
This year is the first that Walden Galleria -- along with many other malls -- is inviting customers to shop doorbuster sales in the middle of Thanksgiving. Rival malls that open on the holiday said they will not punish stores that refuse to participate in the early Black Friday shopping bonanza.
“The store must be open,” said Chuck Sinclair, manager of the sporting goods store Sports Obsession in the Walden Galleria. Reluctant to work on the holiday, he added with a laugh: “But that doesn’t mean I’m going to let shoppers in.”
The fines vary by lease, according to the store managers. And some service-based outlets in the mall, such as hair salons and certain boutiques, can get exemptions, they said.
Matthew Bader, the galleria’s general manager, did not respond to repeated requests by phone and email for comment. A spokeswoman at Pyramid Management Group, the Syracuse-based developer and property manager that operates Walden Galleria, directed questions to Bader.
The mall joins major retailers that have come under fire this year for kicking off holiday shopping on Thanksgiving.
“It’s a family day, it’s a holiday and frankly it’s really getting out of hand with how stores are opening so early,” said Brian McKnight, manager of Walden Galleria's Art of Shaving boutique, which will absorb the store's $250-an-hour fines and remain closed until 5 a.m. on Black Friday. “It’s about having that comfortable work-life balance and respecting my employees’ holiday time with their families.”
Not every store has such generous corporate offices. At Pacific Sunwear, the California surf fashion chain, manager Melanie Garrido told HuffPost her outlet’s parent company wouldn't pay fines to remain closed, so she had to schedule workers on Thanksgiving evening.
A spokeswoman for PacSun said the company's policy is simply: "When the mall is open, our PacSun store is open."
The push to open earlier than ever underscores the difficulties faced by malls as shoppers, made cost-conscious by the Great Recession, have migrated to discount retailers and e-commerce sites. Luxury malls -- ones anchored by such ritzy department stores as Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Saks -- have rebounded as wealthier clientele quickly regained disposable income in recent years. But malls anchored by mid-market department stores, such as Macy’s, J.C. Penney and Sears, continue to struggle.
“Mr. and Mrs. Average America are squeezed and retailers are trying to respond to that in any way they can to drive footsteps into their stores,” Howard Davidowitz, a retail analyst and consultant, told HuffPost. “And the mall is not known for the greatest deals.”
Davidowitz said malls command higher rents than the spaces outside malls occupied by such stores as Target, T.J. Maxx or Family Dollar, making it difficult for mall-based retailers to offer better deals. And, of course, many online stores don’t pay anything for retail space.

21 comments:

  1. The Useless Snakes is a crap country of no culture no class greedy assholes.

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  2. There's a nice little cemetery overlooking the nearest super mall. I like to go there on Black Friday just to watch the "festivities" in the parking lots. People get downright stupid on that day.

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  3. Oh. It's you again. It's interesting that while you go out of your way to denigrate the United States, you fail to mention what craphole in which you now reside.

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  4. It would be something if every tenant of Walden Mall refused to open on Thanksgiving and tell one owner(s) to take a hike. Most likely jews own the mall - would they scream 'anti semitism'?

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  5. I am in number 7 on this list, a country that helped discover the USA and the country that invented the stock market. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2187rank.html

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  6. Oh its you again, the numbnuts who knows nothing about anything.

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  7. Did you solve your butthurt problem? Stop being a faggot and it will clear up. Now get me that burger I ordered you little punk loser.

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  8. The USA wasn't 'discovered' it was founded. Do you mean North America?

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  9. "America," a Christian Nation founded on moral principles...

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  10. Don't feed the troll. "She" is kinda fun -- twist the nipple and a torrent of short, vile posts come spilling out.

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  11. You hang out in a country that depends on dirt walls to hold back the ocean. Huh. Doesn't give you much time to think about anything important.

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  12. Ever hear of the Delta project? If you can read, Google it and get educated. My short vile posts will continue until your one brain cell learn something.

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  13. The Founding fathers weren't christstains they were Deists,

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  14. That's not what conservatives claim.

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  15. I can read, and I don't need google. You're not intelligent enough to do anything but ad hominem attacks, instead of thoughtful discourse. Oh, and grammar. Work on it.

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  16. Thoughtful discourse with a moron like yourself is futile. I can tell your brain is chock full of myths .

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  17. https://www.dropbox.com/sh/b7h6bqkvl46q7vj/AAD3yL68363n_qDF2qacfuXta?dl=0

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  18. My dd214 , bozo. https://www.dropbox.com/s/fjejmcc44wkdrt6/214.jpg?dl=0

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  19. What a dumbass. I've got one of those, from the mid-seventies, and it's much more impressive; however, I'm not stupid enough to put it online for all the world to see.

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  20. I scratched out my name you fucking moron.,

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  21. more impressive? how? I am not proud of being a Vietnam Vet. In fact I burned the original and photocopied it . I bet my C.V AFTER getting out is much more impressive than yours. BTW, a resume is called a Curriculum Vitae in the rest of the world. C. V. 73 countries visited and lived and worked in 5 of them with social security numbers in 4 of them, speak 4 languages fluently. All that AFTER getting out of the military.

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