A White Plains Road store’s effort to move out its entire inventory is running itself into trouble.
Bed & Bath, located on 2143 White Plains Road just off of Lydig Avenue, has ‘Everything Must Go’ and ‘Going out of Business’ signs under its awning. Here’s the issue – these signs have been there for over three months according to complaints.
According to nyc.gov, if a business is advertising that they are having a sale or offering to sell public merchandise in connection with a declared purpose, such as a fire, going out of business, renovation, etc., the business must have a special sale license.
A ‘Going Out of Business’ special sale license costs $50 for 30 days, and can be renewed by Consumer Affairs two consecutive times, at least one week before it expires.
According to the White Plains Road Business Improvement District, however, these signs have been outside the store for over 90 days without a renewal permit, which has prompted the BID to write a letter to the business this week, asking them to cease and desist immediately its alleged false advertising.
“Every store in this area is a member of the White Plains Road BID, which means that they must follow the rules that the BID sets, which includes having a special sales license if the business wishes to put ‘Going Out of Business’ signs in front of their establishment,” said Joe Thompson, executive director of the White Plains Road BID.
“Merchants have to make a living too, but there are laws and rules that come with being a merchant, either in a BID or any district.”
Thompson added that although the business has not obeyed this particular law, they have been cooperative in the past – by previously moving their merchandise closer to the store when it was too far out onto the sidewalk.
He also said that since its are a fairly new business, the management may not used to being located in a BID area, and may not be aware of all of the BID’s rules.
“We don’t anticipate any disobedience from them when we ask them to cease and desist,” said Thompson, referring to the business. “If they don’t comply, the issue will be handled by Consumer Affairs, who will also figure out the punishment, whether it’s a fine or otherwise.”
Customers who have passed this store and it’s signs on a daily basis for over a month might see this situation as a potential scam.
To it’s employees, however, it’s anything but that, as the signs are helping the process of the store’s eventual transformation into a furniture store.
“Business at this store has been slow, even when we lowered the prices of our items,” said Mike Angelo, Bed & Bath’s store manager, who complained about the lack of pedestrian traffic on White Plains Road compared to Fordham Road.
“We’re trying to clear the merchandise out of this store to make room for the new merchandise for the furniture store, but 30 days is not long enough to clear an entire store.”
Angelo further explained that the signs are to make the business switch easier – not to scam, and that taking these signs down will delay that process.
“Even though they haven’t sped up the process much, these signs are designed to make the transformation progress easier for us,” said Angelo.
“Why would I put together a scam? For the two or three people come into my store each hour? The only way this merchandise will be taken out of here is if I put an ‘Everything Free’ sign outside the store,” he added.