Kirkwood Mall Faces Blue Law Dilemma

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The strictest blue laws in the nation are being repealed. For consumers, this means big stores like Walmart being open 24/7 and small business setting their own hours. As Malique Rankin reports, for some storefronts, the blue law repeal is causing some concern.

With the news of the blue law repeal, most business owners are considering their options for Sunday open times. For malls, it’s a bit more complicated.

Jennifer Wilson; Kirkwood Mall GM: “The tenants that have their own entrances, just like today they have their own mall hours, they’ll be able to set whatever opening time they desire for Sundays. And then the total mall hours, we’ll be announcing a decision here in the near future.”

Those that argued in favor of repealing North Dakota Blue Laws said it should be up to small businesses to decide when to open their doors on Sundays. But, as it turns out, not all small businesses get to make the decision.

The owner of Out of Town in the Kirkwood Mall said she’d like the Sunday hours to stay put.
But any changes the mall makes, as a tenant, she has to comply.

Brooke Leno; Founder of Out of Town: “I definitely think that for a lot of small business, it’s nice for them to be able to decide. For us, like I said, it’s a little bit different because we don’t get to decide. I would have liked to stay at noon, just because it’s not up to us.”

Wilson said she’s received mixed feedback from tenants. National stores wanting an earlier open, and local stores liking the way things are now.

Wilson: “It’s a balance act. And when we have 100 tenants, we have to keep them all in mind, and that’s a goal.”

The Mall General Manager says if they do change open times, it’d only be one hour earlier. Once the governor signs the bill into law, it will go into effect on August 1.

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