Montreal's record stores will be allowed to stay open later, says Mayor Plante
MONTREAL -- Montreal's record stores are going to be allowed to keep their doors open later as of this spring.
Mayor Valerie Plante tweeted the news on Tuesday afternoon, saying the City of Montreal will extend opening hours of record stores and "invite merchants and boroughs to make the rules surrounding store hours more flexible."
The development comes weeks after several record store owners in Mile End said they received warnings and $2,900 in fines from provincial inspectors for keeping their businesses open beyond their regulated opening hours.
"It was a big shock for all of us, and quite scary to have the sort of money involved. It was up to $3,000 per store," said Daniel Hadley, co-owner of Death of Vinyl, a record store that escaped the fines. "That's a lot of records that they have to sell, and a lot of money they have to invest it, so it seemed very unfair.
One of the stores was Phonopolis. Since opening in 2011, the store has kept its doors open a few hours longer than permitted, which is supposed to be 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
The store owners said they felt targeted by the fines and faced financial challenges, "struggling just to stay alive."
Plante said at the time that she was sensitive to the issue and would consult boroughs and commercial development societies on how to help the stores.
"You have to be able to adapt and that's what we are doing!" Plante said in her tweet.
"It's good to see that the city is supporting the independent sector," said Hadley. "Usually these are very fragile businesses, economically. That's why the people serving you are usually the owners."
Shopping at independent stores "can get an extra boost out of their shopping experience that no chain store or online purchase is going to provide," said Hadley, adding that he'd like to see the provincial government change the law on store closure times.
"Record stores deserve to be open later on the weekends. It might not be something we need to do, but it might be something someone else needs to do, and that's worth fighting for," he said.