Following a dust up with local authorities over excessive people accessing non-essential items, particularly in the store’s Garden Center over the weekend, Lowe’s of Benton Harbor is closed completely except for online ordering and pick up at this time.
Store officials confirmed this morning some Facebook rumors that the store, located at 1300 Mall Drive in Benton Township, has closed to all traffic anywhere in the store…not just the Garden Center.
The decision appears to be a day-to-day change at the moment, inasmuch as the phone menu still lists their most recent hour schedule which had been shortened due to the pandemic, and the manager who confirmed today’s shutdown said that there was no defined timeline for that shutdown.
The decision follows the store’s receipt on Saturday of a cease and desist letter from Benton Charter Township Police Chief Brian Smit.
Smit issued a formal letter Saturday, saying, “It has been brought to our attention that an area of your business: Nursery/Flower Garden Area is still in operation. You are hereby notified to immediately cease and desist all activity in this area at your business and any other area of your business which is non-essential, per Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order No. 2020-21: Temporary requirement to suspend activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect life.”
He points out the time and date that the Governor’s order began and when it is slated to end, and then adds, “If you do not cease and desist all activities at your business, you will be cited for the misdemeanor charge of ‘Exectuive Orders-Violation’ (MCL 10.33), which is punishable by 90 days and/or $500 fine.”
Similar complaints about people and families doing leisurely strolling through big box stores in other communities have triggered arguments on both sides from people arguing that they have the right to shop, while there are shelter-in-place orders in widespread sections of America.
So, before you make the trip to Lowe’s of Benton Harbor for anything other than pick up of an online order, make certain they are open for business.