Retailers, customers hail end to Sunday sale restrictions

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Business owners and their customers are applauding the repeal of North Dakota’s longstanding restrictions on Sunday sales.
Gov. Doug Burgum signed the “Blue Law” repeal on Monday, which reverses rules that require most retailers to close from midnight to noon on Sundays. The law was established during statehood and is entrenched in religious tradition.
The repeal takes effect Aug. 1, KVRR-TV reported. Starting Aug. 4, retailers can open up before noon.
It gives local business a “more level playing field” to compete with online retailers and neighboring states South Dakota, Minnesota and Montana, Burgum said.
Amber Sander, owner of Boots & Heel, said restrictions on when you can do business can make a significant difference.
“Especially when we have stores trying to compete with online,” Sander said. “We have small businesses that are trying to make sure they’re available to people as often as they can be. That Sunday, I think, is huge.”
Ashlen Morken, Unglued owner, said local vendors hope the change will help them see an uptick in business as a result.
“We have so many visitors that come through on Sundays, whether they’re from Canada or just they’re driving through Fargo. There are so many people who say time and time again they wish we were open earlier or they can’t believe how little downtown shopping there is to do on a Sunday, even later on in the day.”
Erin Knudtson of Fargo said it will make running errands in her area easier.
“It’s great because sometimes you don’t want to drive all the way to Moorhead. It’ll be nice to do some shopping in Fargo and West Fargo,” said.
Susan Grass, a Fargo resident, said longer Sunday shopping hours have been a long time coming.
“It’s about time,” Grass said. “I think it’s kind of an antiquated idea and for those of us that work full time, it’ll be nice.”
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Information from: KVRR-TV, http://kftv.com