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  #41  
Old 12 November 2014, 04:16 PM
Sooeygun Sooeygun is offline
 
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The lease signed by the big box store is likely very different than the lease signed by smaller stores. I work in commercial leasing and the concession negotiated by a big tenant (big in name and/or sq ft leased) with a good covenant are definitely not the same as for a small tenant.

Any penalties in our leases would be considered as a part of rent once they are levied. So if unpaid, we would have the same rights as if the tenant didn't pay the rent.
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  #42  
Old 12 November 2014, 04:43 PM
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And the impact may be quite different, at least as far as the management is concerned. The people who make the decision whether to sign the lease are far more likely to be the ones who just had their Thanksgiving plans ruined in the case of a small operation than in the case of a large chain.

If this requirement was clearly spelled out as part of the lease when they signed it, that's one thing. But if the lease just said something along the lines of "the mall sets opening and closing hours" but in previous years had allowed closing on major holidays, that's a different situation.
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  #43  
Old 12 November 2014, 11:56 PM
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That basically is the situation. It used to be that black friday started at midnight. then the next year you could open at 10 pm on thanksgiving but it was voluntary. Then the next year it was mandatory open at 10 and then the next year (last year) it was mandatory open at 8 and now this year it's mandatory open at 6.

I'm sure you can see the pattern here.
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  #44  
Old 13 November 2014, 12:03 AM
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Won't be too long the way things are going before Black "Friday" will be starting on a Wednesday.
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  #45  
Old 13 November 2014, 12:22 AM
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It's almost as if businesses feel like they have no duty to uphold arbitrary traditions when there's a lot of money on the line.
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  #46  
Old 13 November 2014, 12:43 AM
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But how did all that money get to be on the line? Is this real, or imaginary? Have studies been done? Why are you so certain that staying open is more profitable overall than being closed on that one day?
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  #47  
Old 13 November 2014, 01:29 AM
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I'm sure the large corporations who have chosen to open those additional hours have done that research. Corporations don't just do things randomly. They spend huge sums of money on analytics. It's proprietary information that they won't be sharing with anyone, though.
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  #48  
Old 13 November 2014, 01:53 AM
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From what our store managers have been saying, we're not anticipating making any extra money off of the extra hours. What we're expecting, and what has happened the last few years, is that the shoppers come early, and then there's a several hours long deadspell in the middle of the night. Back when black friday started at midnight there was no dead spell. So we're just going to be wasting payroll.
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  #49  
Old 13 November 2014, 01:57 AM
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I assume your store is part of a chain. The parent company is looking at overall results, not those of an individual store.
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  #50  
Old 13 November 2014, 02:10 AM
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The results they're looking at, however, may be based on a race to get the early shoppers.

If there are a significant number of people who are going to do their shopping the minute the sale opens, but are not going to buy extra just because the sale lasts longer: then the store that opens a bit ahead of the others will get those particular sales. The result of this is that every store (or, in this case, every mall) tries to open the sale a bit ahead of all the others; which may well result in their all staying open extra hours, at considerable extra cost, without any of this increasing total sales a bit. The customers buy the same amount that they would anyway; they just do it, each year, a few hours earlier.

ETA: do you suppose that, eventually, they'll back up the big annual sale all the way to the day after Christmas, landing us right back where we were (if my memory doesn't fail me) around the late 1950's? except, of course, for the bit about everybody being open 24/7/365.
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  #51  
Old 13 November 2014, 02:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
The results they're looking at, however, may be based on a race to get the early shoppers.
Yes, of course, if that's the climate the business exists in. If your job, and potentially many other jobs, and your responsibility to your shareholders, are on the line, it's a big risk to buck that trend.
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  #52  
Old 13 November 2014, 02:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avril View Post
Why are you so certain that staying open is more profitable overall than being closed on that one day?
I just said there's a lot of money on the line. It takes a lot of money to run a mall and lots of malls have gone out of businesses so, yes, there is a lot of money on the line - money invested, money at risk, and money to be made. It's literally not my business whether they are making the right decisions for theirs.
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  #53  
Old 13 November 2014, 02:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erwins View Post
They can call it whatever they want in the contract. Technically, it is "liquidated damages," and private businesses (as well as individuals) can agree in contracts to be "fined" if they don't comply with the terms of the contract. And if by "imaginary police" you mean, "can the mall sue the store for breaching their contract and not paying the fine?" then the answer is yes. So, yes, a store is obligated to comply if they agreed to be obligated, and to pay the mall if they don't comply, and they can't, in those circumstances, just count on the mall not wanting to kick them out.

ETA: Or, what Lainie said.
Courts won't always enforce liquidated damages clauses if they appear to be excessive. The general rule is that you don't get punitive damages for breach of contact claims, and courts have pretty consistently held that you can't get around that by calling the penalty liquidated damages. It has to bear some reasonable relationship to foreseeable actual damages. There's room to argue what magnitude of losses the mall might suffer over a non-compliant store in this situation, but calling it a "fine" might suggest to the court that you weren't even trying to forecast your losses.
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  #54  
Old 13 November 2014, 03:09 AM
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You're right. I was just using the word from the earlier post. We have no idea whether the "fine" would be excessive, or would be based on a reasonable estimation of damages, but stores will still tend to avoid doing things that will makes them pay damages or fight over them in court. In any event, a private business can makes another business pay damages, and it isn't about calling the imaginary police.
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  #55  
Old 14 November 2014, 02:35 AM
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I asked for data, not more assumptions. This is snopes, after all. People often do things they think are going to have X result, even thinking in common sense that they do. But opening a store is expensive. You need staff. In the case of "be the earliest to get Christmas shoppers," you need loss leaders. You need to sell things at less than you paid for them to get people camping out, etc. But you also need, somehow, to grab a market that isn't all that huge--a market of people who want to go shopping on a day that most people will be sleeping off their turkey and pie, especially when shopping trips on the next day are so common.

It may have worked for some stores, sometimes, but overall, does it work? Does it help? Or is it just desperation? What are the numbers?
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  #56  
Old 14 November 2014, 02:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avril View Post
I asked for data, not more assumptions. This is snopes, after all.
Yes, of course. Data about what specific claim? I never claimed that opening is good for business.
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  #57  
Old 14 November 2014, 02:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avril View Post
I asked for data, not more assumptions. . . .

It may have worked for some stores, sometimes, but overall, does it work? Does it help? Or is it just desperation? What are the numbers?
As I said before, corporations would consider this proprietary information. They won't make it public. If you want to make your own assumption that major corporations are making these decisions for no quantifiable reasons, knock yourself out.
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  #58  
Old 14 November 2014, 04:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
The results they're looking at, however, may be based on a race to get the early shoppers.

If there are a significant number of people who are going to do their shopping the minute the sale opens, but are not going to buy extra just because the sale lasts longer: then the store that opens a bit ahead of the others will get those particular sales. The result of this is that every store (or, in this case, every mall) tries to open the sale a bit ahead of all the others; which may well result in their all staying open extra hours, at considerable extra cost, without any of this increasing total sales a bit. The customers buy the same amount that they would anyway; they just do it, each year, a few hours earlier.

ETA: do you suppose that, eventually, they'll back up the big annual sale all the way to the day after Christmas, landing us right back where we were (if my memory doesn't fail me) around the late 1950's? except, of course, for the bit about everybody being open 24/7/365.
But the way that markets work is that if it isn't worth it, a company will stop doing it, and gain a competitive advantage by not wasting money on it. Then others will follow suit. So it may keep backing up some, but if it isn't worth it, the market should (eventually) find the point where it is just worth it from an economic perspective.

I would guess we're getting close to that point or have slightly overshot, but I could be wrong.
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  #59  
Old 14 November 2014, 05:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erwins View Post
But the way that markets work is that if it isn't worth it, a company will stop doing it, and gain a competitive advantage by not wasting money on it.
Okay. I'm probably too tired to clearly explain what I mean here, but I'm going to make a stab at it anyway.

It's not necessarily an advantage for one company to stop doing it while all the others are still doing it.

Suppose it costs you $x to stay open for one day.

Suppose the people who want to do their shopping early will spend $2x + $y.

Suppose that they will spend this money only on the first day of the shopping: whenever that first day happens to be.

If all the stores are closed on Thanksgiving, and that first day of sales is Friday, these customers will then spend that money on Friday. None of the stores have to spend the money to be open on Thanksgiving; and they'll share out the money that the early spenders spend.

If a few of the stores are open on Thanksgiving, that first day of sales is Thursday, and the stores that are open on Thursday will get that money. The stores that don't open till Friday won't get it; that money won't still be around the second day of the sale, because it was spent on the first, and most of those customers aren't going to spend more money just because the sale lasted longer. (A few of them probably will; but this may well amount to less than the cost of staying open an extra day.)

If all the stores open on Thursday, then they will all again share in that money. Each of them will make more money than the store that doesn't open the first day of the sale; and that increase will (I am positing) be more than the cost of being open the extra day.

However, none of them will take in more money than they would have if they had all waited to start the sale on Friday: because there isn't actually more money being spent; it's only the timing of the spending that's affected.

And they now all have the expense of being open both days. So, while their net profit (I'm positing; I don't have actual knowledge of their figures) is greater than it would be if they were the only store, or one of only a few stores, closed on Thursday, it's not as great as it would be if they were able to bring in that same amount of money on Friday instead: as they would if none of them opened on Thursday.

-- Basically, the first few to break ranks and open on Thursday not only make more money: they cause everyone who doesn't so open to lose money. The others have to open on Thursday to catch up; and, once they do so, those first few are no longer making the extra money that caused them to open early in the first place, because they're back to having to share the early-sales money with all the other stores. But they're now all stuck; they're still dividing the same amount of money as they would be without Thanksgiving opening, but they have to bear the costs of being open an extra day to do so. They're all worse off than they all were when the sales started a day later. But any one store that breaks ranks in the other direction loses more in sales than it gains by the closing, because by the time they open all the early money is already spent.
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  #60  
Old 16 November 2014, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
Many years ago I gather there were laws against opening on Sundays; but if so, they're long gone, except for some state liquor store laws. I expect even if they were still on the books it would be knocked down by the courts under the religious separation clause.
In New Jersey, Bergen County still has this law on the books. (They're known as "blue laws" in the US, although I have no idea why.) The laws originally started because OMG DONT SELL ALCOHOL ON SUNDAYS. As far as the one in Bergen County is concerned, and I know this because I grew up there, it's not far from where I live now, and I still know plenty of people who live there, as long as I can remember, every few years it comes up for a vote to overthrow it and the measure overwhelmingly gets turned down. The reasons have nothing to do with alcohol. Bergen County, particularly in certain areas, is very densely populated with retail establishments and malls, and six days a week, those areas are crawling with traffic and crowds. Bergen County residents like the fact that, number one, they can drive through many areas of the county without these crowds one day a week, but they also like the fact that people who work in these establishments are not forced to work seven days a week.

It's really not a big deal. If you absolutely need something on a Sunday that you can't buy in Bergen County, you drive to the next county and buy it. But residents of this county tend to mostly have at least one car, because it's very densely suburban, and the county is not so big that this would constitute a day trip.
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