Maine law prevents large retailers from opening on Thanksgiving

6:57 PM, Nov 15, 2012   |    comments
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BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Stores nation wide have been running Black Friday adds in magazines and on television. A few larger retailers have decided to open their doors Thanksgiving night, but here in Maine shoppers will have to wait until Midnight to get their Black Friday fix.

Maine has had a Blue Law on the books since the 1960's, which doesn't allow stores with more than 5,000 square feet of interior space to be open on Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  

This year Walmart, Toys"R"Us, Kmart and Sears are all advertising that they will open their doors Thanksgiving night at 8pm. Due to Maine's Blue Law those larger retailers will have to wait until Midnight to open for Black Friday.

Target is also joining in on the pre-Black Friday opening this year saying that they will welcome customers inside at 9pm November 22nd. Team Leader of the Bangor Target, David Scott, will have to wait until midnight to open his doors for Black Friday, but says that he sees these earlier openings as a trend that will only get worse before it ever gets better. "Something higher than I is going to have to come around and say either stop it or allow it to open up on Thanksgiving totally," says Scott. "I think that's which way the country is going is to just open the store on Thanksgiving day."

Massachusetts and Rhode Island are the only other two states that regulate holiday hours for large retailers.

There are several exceptions to the law in Maine, such as that if a store employees no more than 5 people in can open during the holidays. LL Bean was grand fathered in because it started opening 365 days a year back in 1951.

The Black Friday deals being advertised for stores opening Thanksgiving night nationally will still be offered at Maine's larger retail stores, only the specials will start at Midnight instead of 8 or 9pm.

 

NEWS CENTER

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