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Walt Whitman Shops cuts mall hours

The Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station says

The Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station says it will be closing earlier starting on Monday. Photo Credit: David L. Pokress

Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station on Monday will begin closing at 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 30 minutes earlier than previously, mall owner Simon Properties said.

The new hours align “with the operating hours of our department stores — Bloomingdale’s, Lord & Taylor, Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue,” Simon said in a statement. Many restaurants at the mall will continue to remain open later, via their exterior entrances, to serve customers, the company said.

A Simon spokesman declined to comment beyond the statement.

Marshal Cohen, senior retail analyst with the NPD Group, a Port Washington market research company, said the shorter hours are likely a way to reduce operating costs.

“A closing time that’s half an hour earlier multiplied by the number of people they employ — it adds up and makes a big difference,” he said.

“There are all kinds of costs that go into operating a mall, and because of the rise of online shopping, [malls are] just not making as much money as they used to.”

Cohen said the shorter hours at Walt Whitman Shops might be “part of a larger experiment.”

“And if it’s somewhat successful, you’ll see other malls follow suit,” he said. “Malls are under a lot of pressure; if they’re not busy, they don’t want to be open.”

Walt Whitman Shops’ new hours, starting Monday, will be 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m Sunday.

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