Town of Palm Beach News

Aggressive Sales Tactics Plague Worth Avenue

Despite a ban in February, aggressive sales tactics have continued to plague shoppers on Palm Beach’s Worth Avenue, as first reported by the Palm Beach Daily News.

Palm Beach police have reported issuing two violations since the ordinance went into the effect: one to Lavier and one to Tresor Rare. Both stores have been accused of using “aggressive solicitation” on Worth Avenue.

Last week at the Worth Avenue Association meeting, members discussed their lingering concerns about the practice and how to bring it to an end with Officer Ryan Burgoon.

On Feb. 14, the Town Council passed an emergency ordinance banning solicitation on public streets and sidewalks. This decision came as a relief to many Worth Avenue shoppers and retailers. The ordinance defines solicitation as standing on a street or sidewalk “for the purpose of enticing or inviting someone to enter a store or asking for a ride, employment, business or charitable contribution.”

However, Edward Kassatly, co-owner of Kassatly’s at 250 Worth Ave., said that he had four customers complain about solicitation two weeks ago. 

“One said she called the police and waited, but nothing transpired,” he said. “I think something should be done a little further than just waiting for a phone call to see if they’re coming out.”

Aggressive Sales Tactics Plague Worth Avenue

Burgoon said that when he patrols Worth Avenue, he sees store employees soliciting customers from the doorways of their shops, which is not in violation of the ordinance.

At the suggestion of Kassatly, Burgoon said he would ask Acting Police Chief Nicholas Caristo to consider having female officers not in uniform walk along the Avenue once or twice a day to spot violations.

“A lot of times, they see the uniform, I’m sure that they step back a couple more feet into the doorway,” Burgoon said.

Related >>> History of Worth Avenue Town of Palm Beach

Penalties for violating the ordinance begin at $125 for the first offense, $250 for the second, $400 for the third, and $500 for each offense after three.

Zoning Director Josh Martin, who recommended the ban, has urged people to report incidents to the town’s Code Enforcement Department.

Store owners from Tresor Rare and Lavelier declined to comment for this story.

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Alanna Barrett

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