Residents were loud and clear about their opposition to a request from Walmart to extend its hours on what has become the No. 1 shopping day of the year — Black Friday. The Victor Town Board is expected to announce its decision on the matter at its next meeting, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 16, at the Town Hall.
Residents were loud and clear about their opposition to a request from Walmart to extend its hours on what has become the No. 1 shopping day of the year — Black Friday.
The Victor Town Board is expected to announce its decision on the matter at its next meeting, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 16, at the Town Hall.
The issue about the extended hours has been at the center of discussion at the Planning Board’s Oct. 19 and Nov. 3 meetings. In October, Walmart’s Victor store manager, Ed Narrod, and corporate attorney, Terry Flynn, sought permission from the board to stay open from 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving night, Nov. 25, to 7 a.m. the following day, Nov. 26. The hours of operation at the Route 96 store are restricted to 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
Among resident objections were the disruption that even the one night of business would bring to residents of adjacent neighborhoods. Powered-up lighting fixtures, increased traffic noise and car doors slamming also were on their list of concerns, along with the fear of setting an irreversible precedent.
“If this request is approved for Thanksgiving night,” said Chip Testa, of Meadowlark Lane, “(Walmart will) come back for the next Thanksgiving and additional holidays with their ultimate aim to be able to operate twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.”
Pat Palomaki, whose home is adjacent to Commerce Park, echoed Testa’s fears.
“My concern (is that) it would be a serious precedent,” she said, “and that we could expect other stores including Target, Kmart and the stores in the mall that would want the same privilege.”
As voices of opposition rose, Flynn suggested a compromise to accommodate the tidal wave of Black Friday shoppers expected, regardless of the Planning Board’s decision, to arrive at area stores at 3 a.m., 4 a.m. and 5 a.m.
“We understand that you may or may not be comfortable with the full-night request, opening the twenty-four hours,” he said. “If you can evaluate that (opening at) five a.m. is more appropriate ... we’re comfortable with that kind of request.”
Despite assurance from Flynn that Walmart’s Black Friday request had a shelf life of only one year, residents and board members were still skeptical.
“We are here specifically for just this one day because that is the one day of concern to us,” underlined Flynn. “(If we had another request) we would have to come back because the application is for one specific year.”
Last year, all of New York’s 92 Walmart stores in operation had their doors open Thanksgiving night into Black Friday. Three new stores this year, including the one in Victor, have sought the addition of hours and lighting at each location.
In 2010 the town of Victor received $4,565,053 in sales tax revenue, which represents 57.6 percent of its projected $7,922,810 income.
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