How Would Repealing the Blue Law Affect Fargo Businesses?

The answer is less obvious than you may think and opinons are all accross the board on this one

How would you like to shop in North Dakota before noon on a Sunday?

A state lawmaker is trying to make that happen.

Because of the blue law in North Dakota, some Fargo retailers said they could be missing out on extra sales.

“The more hours you’re open, you make more sales,” said Chris Heaton, Senior Vice President of Property Management at the West Acres Mall.  “Now you have to weigh that against obviously staffing and things like that.”

The repeal of the Sunday open blue law may be more attractive to bigger chain stores like Walmart or Target that can easily absorb costs like staffing.

Large retailers might like the idea of getting rid of the blue law, but for small business owners, opinions are varied.

One business owner we spoke with said he’s neutral on the subject.

Greg Danz, owner of Zandbroz Variety, said he likes the way the state law is set up now and if it was changed, he’d still choose to open late on Sundays.

“I don’t see it as a huge factor for us,” Greg explained.  “It’s kind of nice to have that one morning off a week. It’s traditionally a family morning, church morning, that kind of thing and I’d just assume leave it that way.”

He does see the appeal for consumers though.

“I understand that the world is different nowadays,” he said.  “People have different schedules and as we just heard from one of our customers there are people who want to go out shopping on Sunday morning and you know…God bless them!”

Even West Acres Mall says they don’t anticipate opening too much earlier if the law was repealed.

“From our standpoint, it’s not going to change much,” said Heaton.  “You know, we may open at 11:00 am instead of noon.”

Of course, there is the possibility nothing will change at all.

“I think it’s just way too early,” said Craig Whitney, the President of the Chamber.  “I don’t know if they’ll be able to get the traction to get it passed.”

Whitney says he hasn’t seen any big efforts from businesses reaching out to lawmakers in favor of getting rid of the state’s blue law.

State Representative Pam Anderson says she’s looking to gather support for her bill that would allow businesses to open on Sunday, regardless of the time.

For more information on her repeal request, click here.

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