Friday afternoon, Fuchs was handed a lease termination notice by mall officials and signed by Mall General Manager Tembra Aldridge. The letter states that the option to terminate the lease agreement is effective 11:59 p.m. today and that he must vacate the mall premises and remove his property before then.
Fuchs’ business, the Graphic Edge, printed slogans and pictures on items such as coffee cups, bumper stickers and T-shirts.
Fuchs said he was given no reason for this termination and was shocked and upset. Thursday evening, Fuchs said mall officials met with him and told him to take down the anti-Obama items on display by closing time or face immediate eviction.
Marsha Hammond, the mall’s marketing director, has a different take on the meeting between Fuchs and mall officials. She said that Aldridge and Melinda Davis, the mall’s specialty leasing representative, suggested that Fuchs also display items in support of Obama. The mall had received several complaints from customers regarding the anti-Obama items, she said. Hammond also said that it was Fuchs’ decision to remove the items completely from display.
“That is not true,” Fuchs said. “I was given no choice. I was given, (Thursday) night at about 4:30, the option of taking it down or get out, receive an eviction at closing time.”
“I was upset about it, of course,” he said Friday prior to receiving the notice. “That’s my livelihood.” By Friday morning, Fuchs said these items had been taken down.
Fuchs had been in business at the mall for around two months and hadn’t initially set out to create anti-Obama items. He said one day a customer asked for an anti-Obama shirt to be printed. A few days later, he said, another customer asked for a similar item.
Some of these items were put on display, but most were completed upon customer request, Fuchs said. He said that around 60 percent of items being sold out of the kiosk was anti-Obama merchandise.
This is not the first time such a disputed kiosk closing has taken place. In late July 2009, The Concord Mills mall in Concord, N.C. decided not to renew its contract with Loren Spivack, who fought to stay in business in that shopping center. Spivack says his kiosk, Free Market Warrior, was nudged out of its lease with the mall for purely political reasons.
After a meeting between Spivack and officials from The Concord Mills mall, the mall released a statement which read "Mr. Spivack has not agreed to remove the objectionable merchandise and will be moving out of Concord Mills at the end of his lease."
Spivack told FOXNews.com that mall officials specifically asked that three bumper stickers and a T-shirt believed to be linking President Obama with terrorism be removed from the kiosk, including one that read, "Obama Wins and They Celebrate in Iran, Do You Get It?"
According to Spivack, the hottest sellers at the kiosk before its closing were items that were critical of President Obama.
They include a “Work Harder, Obama Needs the Money” bumper sticker and a T-shirt that lists the top 12 things Obama has been doing as the economy crashes.
Among the other merchandise sold at the kiosk and on its associated Web site are GOP elephant bobblehead dolls, a Republican president jigsaw puzzle and baby bibs that say, “My parents chose life. Thanks Mom and Dad!”
Via: Fox News