“Midnight Madness” – the frenzied day-after-Thanksgiving all-night shopping extravaganza at the Wrentham Village Premium Outlets – is on the chopping block.
Planning Board members in Wrentham will meet Wednesday to discuss whether to revoke the mall’s permission to open early on Black Friday, the traditional start of the Christmas shopping season. The mall and town officials have so far been unable to resolve a dispute over installing security cameras at the mall.Wrentham police have asked for the cameras, citing massive Midnight Madness crowds, as well as crimes like shoplifting and armed robbery that have occurred at the mall outside of the event.
“Unfortunately, the Wrentham Premium Outlet Mall attracts criminals with lengthy records of serious crime, including gang members,” Police Chief James Anderson wrote in a letter to Planning Board chairman Thomas Wrynn earlier this month.
Anderson also wrote that the mall could be considered a “soft target” by terrorists.
Mall officials have countered that past Midnight Madness events have been mostly incident-free, and argue that the issue of whether to install cameras should be separate from whether the mall should be allowed to open early the day after Thanksgiving.
Earlier this month, mall officials agreed to install 10 security cameras, but that didn’t resolve the dispute, in part because the mall asked that the town be responsible for maintaining the cameras. Mall officials also asked for their permit to be amended so as not to require yearly approval for the early Black Friday opening.
A spokeswoman for the mall declined to comment today.
Calvin Hennick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.