Arbor Place Mall is implementing an earlier curfew on Tuesday, Dec. 26. The mall announced that its Youth Escorting Policy, which is enacted every Friday and Saturday from 6 p.m. until close, is now taking place from 3 p.m. until close for the day after Christmas. The policy requires that every minor younger than 18 years old be accompanied by a parent or guardian older than 21.
The anticipated high volume of foot traffic in the mall is the reason for the earlier curfew, mall marketing director Molly Mitchell said. The day after Christmas is one of the busiest shopping days of the year due to families being in town and new gift cards being used, Mitchell said.
“If you want to hang out and maybe you’re not shopping, there are other places to go and do that,” Mitchell said. “On such a busy day of the year, that’s a day that you really want to make sure is orderly in your shopping center.”
Security concerns are also another reason for the policy on Tuesday.
Last year, there were reported fights in North Carolina, Illinois, Colorado, and Connecticut malls on Dec. 26. Although Mitchell couldn’t confirm those specific events were the main influence in enacting the policy, she did refer to “incidents” that occurred around the country on Dec. 26 last year.
Arbor Place Mall General Manager Ted Martin is taking the initiative to enact the policy before an incident occurs, according to Mitchell. Since the property is owned by a private company, CBL, mall officials may enact the policy anytime at their discretion.
“We have a safe mall,” Mitchell said. “This is positive for Arbor Place Mall to be able to have the authority to step in, if need be, and make the most secure, safe, and positive environment for our shoppers. It’s something that is imperative to have a shopping center or any place where people are gathering. You have thousands of people walking in and out an hour on that day and you need to have rules in place. It’s the steps we have taken to ensure specifically that the community is aware that it is a safe place.”
The policy applies to minors who wish to go the mall movie theater as well. Minors who work in the mall are safe to spend break time in the mall’s common areas and shop in other stores as long as they can provide they work in the mall. The policy doesn’t apply to exterior entrances at the anchor stores including Bed, Bath & Beyond, Belk, Dillards, Forever 21, JCPenney, Macy’s, and Sears. The exterior stores still have the option to use the policy if they want to, Mitchell said.