Leggett stores to open on Sundays

June 09, 1993|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,Staff Writer

An article in The Sun yesterday stated incorrectly that all Leggett department stores in Maryland will now be open on Sundays. The article failed to mention the Leggett store in California, Md., which will not be open Sundays.

The Sun regrets the error.

Responding to changes in customer shopping habits, the Leggett department store chain is breaking with family tradition and permanently opening its stores on Sundays.

The 45-store chain's two Maryland stores -- at Cranberry Mall in Westminster and Francis Scott Key Mall in Frederick -- will be open from noon to 5 p.m. Sundays, beginning July 18.


"We had to change to satisfy the needs of our customers that want to shop on Sundays," Leggett spokesman R. Nick Markham said at the corporate headquarters in Virginia yesterday.

The 75-year-old, family owned chain had resisted pressure for years to open on Sundays in the belief that the day is a time to spend in church and with family, Vice President Fred B. Leggett Jr. said in September.

However, an experiment in opening the stores on Sundays from Oct. 4 through the Christmas season last year received positive customer response, Mr. Markham said.

"We just have to be available when the customers want to shop," he said.

Cranberry Mall marketing manager Kathi McAvoy said the mall's management was pleased about the Sunday opening.

"This is something we've been pushing for and hoping for since they tried [opening] at holiday time," she said. "It will increase traffic at the mall, and I'm sure all the other merchants feel the same."

Now, all four anchor stores -- Leggett, Caldor, Montgomery Ward and Sears -- will be open on Sundays, she said. Chick-fil-A, Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. and Columbia Jewelers will be the only mall stores to remain closed on Sundays.

"We're happy they are changing, and the entire mall as a whole will benefit," Ms. McAvoy said.

Leggett board members decided to open 26 of the company's stores in Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia and Delaware on Sundays.

The decision, made Friday, was based on the size and location of each store, Mr. Markham said.

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