N.Y. Mall to Fine Stores That Refuse to Open on Thanksgiving

Mall Threatens to Fine Stores That Don't Open on Thanksgiving

A mall near Buffalo, New York, is threatening to hit retailers who fail to open on Thanksgiving with fines of around $200 an hour.

Home to over 200 stores, Walden Galleria is already taking flak for the move, with a mention on Boycott Shopping on Thanksgiving's Facebook page. According to the Huffington Post, store managers were informed last week that there would be consequences if they remained closed on the holiday, when the mall will open at 6 p.m.

"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," Brian McKnight, manager of Walden Galleria's Art of Shaving boutique, told HuffPost. "It's about having that comfortable work-life balance and respecting my employees' holiday time with their families."

McKnight's shop will remain closed until 5 a.m. on Black Friday. The potential fines vary from one shop's to the next based on their lease agreements. McKnight says he expects to be hit to the tune of around $250 an hour -- $2,750 in total if he proceeds as planned.

"We're just stuck following the rules," Shaun Deutsch, the manager of the mall's Tee Shirt University store, told Time Warner Cable News, Buffalo, "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."

"It's been a lot different this year trying to find people to work," Deutsch said. "It's not been easy. I've been forced to schedule myself because I can't find anyone else, really, to help me out."

Last year, the Walden Galleria opened at midnight on Black Friday. Pyramid Management, which owns the mall, plans to have several other properties open on Thanksgiving, including Crossgates Mall near Albany.

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N.Y. Mall to Fine Stores That Refuse to Open on Thanksgiving
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