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Outlet mall silences Salvation Army bells

Posted December 17, 2010
Updated December 18, 2010

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— A sound of the holiday season has been silenced at the Carolina Premium Outlets in Smithfield, where managers are enforcing a policy against bell-ringing by the Salvation Army.

Mall General Manager Linda Crowder said Friday that the no-bell policy has been in effect for several years, but she said the Salvation Army is still welcome to collect money outside stores.

Salvation Army Lt. Kevin Justice said Carolina Premium Outlets has never before enforced the policy, which he blames for a 40 percent drop in donations at the shopping center.

"If you don't ring a bell, you don't draw in the attention of the customers," Justice said.

He said mall managers have told him the ringing bells drown out the holiday music that is played.

"We have never had an issue with this and have coordinated with the Salvation Army for years. We continue to support their efforts and encourage our shoppers to be generous when they pass by," Crowder said in a statement.

Salvation Army kettle Salvation Army blames low collections on mall's no-bells policy

Justice said the policy makes it harder for the Salvation Army to find volunteers to watch over its red collection kettles at the outlet mall.

"It been harder to fill the spots over there with volunteers because they want to ring the bell," he said.

A few miles away, bells ring loudly as the Salvation Army collects money at a Walmart shopping center.

People there said they love the sound of the bells and said they couldn't understand Carolina Premium Outlets' policy.

"That's 'bah, humbug,' Scrooge, that type of thing," shopper Joy Henriques said of the no-bell policy. "To me, (the bells are) part of the season."

"Every time I see the bell ringers out there, I put $4 or $5 in all the time because I love the Salvation Army," shopper Susan Marshmon said.

The Salvation Army's kettle campaign continues through next week.

37 Comments

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  • treki70 Dec 21, 2010

    this just in The Mgt.is on santas naughty list!!And they will get a visit from the 3 ghosts of christmas!

  • Mike67 Dec 17, 2010

    say what you want to csdeselms, bet you will not see me out there, all of that is for a cause these people ring these bells for, maybe some who think that what they do is not a good think, should find themselves in a situations sometime needing help from them!!!!!!!

  • ugottabkiddinme Dec 17, 2010

    oh yeah..i was actually going there tomorrow...WAS being the key word!!!!

  • ugottabkiddinme Dec 17, 2010

    seriously whats more seasonal than the bell at xmas whatever happened to the spirit of giving...just when ya thought ya heard it all...something like this comes along

  • piratepeople2 Dec 17, 2010

    this is the stupidest thing I've ever heard-I sure won't be patronizing this outlet mall-just turn up the holiday music-duh!

  • kencapulli Dec 17, 2010

    Well it is private property and the bells are annoying so I guess the SA is lucky they can do it all.You dont need the bell clanging away to see the big red pot.

    I have never understood why Walmart allows ANYONE with a card table to hit people up for money every weekend in the front of their stores.

    If nothing else, let them set up shop at the front of store at the center of the building away from the entrances and exits.

    There, I feel better now!

  • gammasandi Dec 17, 2010

    www.premiumoutlets.com

  • gammasandi Dec 17, 2010

    no more shopping for me at the mall...hit them in the pocketbook...wonder if the word "salvation" has anything to do with this action...

  • tommys5 Dec 17, 2010

    thank goodness, i will shop there now, those bells are very stressful~parcman

    Now we know why "yellow makes you sad"

  • Made In USA Dec 17, 2010

    What's more important: Helping the many people in financial distress this Christmas or listening to the mall's Christmas music? I will never shop at this mall ever again.

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