Business as Usual on 9/11?

Jul 25, 2002

“Retailers have a tough decision to make in the next few weeks: how to mark the anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon and plan for the day’s trading.” This was the lead to a front-page story in the Wednesday edition of Women’s Wear Daily.

Allen Questrom, chairman and chief executive, J.C. Penney summed up the feelings of retailers quoted in the WWD article. “I don’t think it is a day where anybody would be doing a big event. We want to do something understated and very reverent. It’s not an easy call. You don’t want to be commercial.”

Events planned across the nation in the malls and stores include an 88-foot mural in Riverside Square Mall in Hackensack, N.J., created by local students to remember those lost and the heroic efforts of so many. In Birmingham, Ala., Colonial Properties Trust Malls are planning events including performances by student bands and choirs, local fundraisers and blood drives.

As to whether businesses should close up shop on 9/11, New York City Tourism
Bureau President and CEO Cristyne Nicholas says, “The last thing we should do
is close our doors. We want to make sure the world knows that New York City
is open on September 11.” The Big Apple has had five million fewer visitors
year-to-date than it had at this time in 2001.

Moderator Comment: How should retailers conduct business on 9/11/2002? [George
Anderson – Moderator

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