By Monica Pryts
Allied News Staff Writer
SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP —
Employees of Grove City Premium Outlets in Springfield Township have started an online petition urging those who set the shopping mall hours to keep it closed on Easter Sunday.
A petition titled “Simon Property Group, Inc. Stealing Easter” on Change.org started by Audrey Fisher of Grove City has more than 250 signatures and counting; the subtitle is “Petitioning Simon Malls, Premium Outlets, Grove City Premium Outlets.”
The outlet mall, well known for its Black Friday sales the day after Thanksgiving, is owned by Simon Property Group. It is open on Sundays throughout the year.
The petition begins by saying, “There’s a war on Easter,” which falls on April 20 this year. Fisher could not be reached for comment, but the petition describes the employees’ desires to spend Easter with their loved ones rather than working.
“We’ve all watched as consumerism has ruined holidays. Thanksgiving is second to Black Friday. Christmas is shadowed by the purchasing of gifts. Even the Fourth of July has become a shopping holiday. Don’t let Simon Property Group ruin Easter, too.”
The petition also says certain places must be open on holidays – like hospitals – but it’s “completely unnecessary” to take retail workers away from one of the few holidays they get to spend with their families.
“It’s a shame that we allow the greed of corporations to dictate the time we get with our families,” the petition says.
The employees urge folks to sign the petition if they plan to boycott shopping on Easter, or if they are against Simon Property Group and Premium Outlets being open on Easter.
“Together, we can take Easter back,” the petition ends.
Many area residents who signed the petition also commented on the issue, showing their support for the employees who want to celebrate Easter with their friends and families.
“Holidays are family time and for people to be taken away from their families on a holiday is wrong. This is not about having ‘another day off;’ this is about standing up for what is right, now and for the future,” Brian Heckman of Greenville said on the petition’s page at Change.org
“I have many friends that work at the mall and I believe that they should be able to enjoy the holidays with their families. No amount of profit should be worth more than your employees’ ability to spend time with loved ones. Your business is not a detrimental asset to serving and protecting the country so why make people come?” Chelsey Hamilton of Grove City asked.
Quite a few people commented that Easter is a Holy Day for Christians that should be respected, and that there are plenty of other days during the year to shop.
“Christians who follow biblical principles want to worship and spend time with their families on Easter,” Donna Knight of Harrisville said. “Easter is a Holy Day and also a time to spend with family. Families are falling apart more these days because of not a lot of together time; this time is needed.”
If someone needs to shop that bad they can go on Monday through Saturday that week,” Karen Miskovich of Slippery Rock said.
A spokesperson for the outlet mall didn’t respond in time for publication.
The petition can be found at www.change.org/petitions/simon-malls-premium-outlets-grove-city-premium-outlets-stay-closed-easter-sunday