Image via Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets | Facebook
For the month of July, the always-busy Premium Outlets malls on International Drive and Vineland Avenue extended their hours
– opening an hour earlier and staying open an hour later.
The new midnight closing put the outlet malls well past the typical 9 p.m. closing time of many of the other local malls. Disney Springs stays open until midnight, while the majority of the retail at CityWalk closes at 11 p.m
Simon Property, who owns the two malls, stated that the new hours were in response to customer demand. Simon also manages many of the other local malls, including the Florida Mall, which has a 9 p.m. closing time.
The new hours at the outlet malls saw major pushback from the employees, with a petition
to roll back the change receiving over 7,000 votes. The petition was started by Lydea
Strickland, who identified herself in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel
as an employee at the Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets.
It reads in part:
“This change will not only have a negative impact on businesses due to the slow start to the summer season but the change will also negatively impact the employees. Most store employees will be forced to drive home or walk at unsafe hours (i.e 2 a.m) due to the pushback of closing procedures. This change will also negatively affect families.”
Numerous comments on the petition pointed to a work-life balance for employees, and the fact that the new hours were set by Simon with little or no input from the businesses in the malls.
Simon gave no indication how long the extended hours would last, but Strickland updated the petition this weekend indicating the extended hours have been rolled back.
While the extended hours are still listed on Google and Facebook
, the official websites
for the two malls point to a 10 a.m. through 11 p.m. schedule.
This does mean the 9 p.m. earlier closing on Sundays has been extended to the regular 11 p.m. closing, but the 9 a.m. through midnight hours have been rolled back, at least for now.