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Town adopts Black Friday restrictions

Is it the beginning of the end for Black Friday Midnight Madness?

By Karen Datko Oct 21, 2010 5:47PM

This post comes from Melinda Fulmer of MSN Money.


One Massachusetts city has decided it wants none of the retail frenzy associated with Black Friday.


Voters at a town meeting in Dartmouth this week approved rigorous new restrictions for retailers who want to open their doors between midnight and 4 a.m. on the traditional holiday shopping kickoff on Nov. 26.


"We're not looking to interfere with business," Dartmouth police chief Timothy M. Lee told meeting members, according to

Rather, he said they want to protect shoppers and employers from the frenzied stampedes of hundreds of bargain-crazy shoppers that have resulted in countless injuries and at least one fatality -- at a Long Island Wal-Mart in 2008. Post continues after video.

According to city documents (.pdf file), retailers will have to apply for a waiver indicating their hours of operation and submit a safety plan to the Select Board.


The plans will be reviewed and off-duty police officers will be assigned to the stores for public safety (at the retailer's expense, of course.)


Those retailers not complying face steep fines --$100 per minute for the first 30 minutes they are open in violation of the ordinance, $200 per minute for the next 30 minutes, and $300 per minute after that.


The rule will not go into effect until next year, but town officials are asking retailers to comply voluntarily this year. Food stores and gas stations are exempt. Drugstores can apply for an exemption, according to documents from the meeting.


Will retailers be willing to pay the price to be the first to open on Black Friday? And will other cities follow suit?


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