Thursday, July 23, 2009

Businessman Kicked Out Of Mall For Political Merchandise

Concord Mills mall officials said they will no longer allow businessman Loren Spivack to sell his politically charged merchandise in their mall. Spivack insists that it’s an issue of free speech. Since May, Spivack has sold the items from his kiosk, called Free Market Warrior, inside Concord Mills. But at the end of the month, the mall, which is owned by Simon Property Group, is terminating its contract with Spivack, saying his merchandise is offensive and that people are complaining. In an e-mail sent to Concord Mills, one shopper said the kiosk “sells a variety of anti-Obama as well as pro-confederacy products. Looking over the merchandise in disgust, all I could help to wonder was why such a merchant was even allowed to begin operation to begin with.” In response to several calls from News 14 Carolina, Concord Mills released a statement, saying, “As a matter of corporate policy, Concord Mills does not comment publicly on landlord-tenant negotiations.”Concord Mills officials also wouldn’t clarify if any policies exist on items allowed to be sold on its property. “I don’t think they should be stopped from selling it, but it’s very interesting where Simon Properties has decided to pick their battle,” Spivack said. To stay in business in Concord Mills, Spivack said he was given the option to remove all controversial items from his cart. He said he's looking for another mall to move his kiosk to, but Simon Property Group owns the majority of the malls in the area, and he said he no longer wants to work with that chain.