Kirkwood Mayor Tim Griffin and the City Council voted down applications Thursday that would have allowed Superiorland Concessions to sell Blues team merchandise in tents at two sites in the city.
The business wanted to sell Blues merchandise from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily from June 21 through July 12 at both 10901 Manchester Road and 401 North Kirkwood Road.
“I have concerns they would be in competition with brick and mortar operations in our city that have made significant investments here,” Councilman Wallace Ward said.
Councilwoman Ellen Edman read a letter from Donna Poe, executive director of the Downtown Kirkwood Special Business District, that stated her group’s concerns over the plan, especially regarding the North Kirkwood Road location, which is within the district.
“We have several merchants in downtown Kirkwood that have already made an investment in their Blues merchandise to take advantage of the community spirit surrounding the Blues’ quest for the Stanley Cup,” Poe wrote.
“If these local business people thought that someone who is not invested in the community (and from out of state) was going to sell Blues merchandise from a temporary location in the Special Business District, these merchants might not have decided to purchase the Blues merchandise. Additionally, I wonder about the appearance of this merchandise being sold from a tent on a corner.”
Poe said district businesses that already have Blues merchandise in their inventory include Christopher’s, Fun in the Sun, Hey Lottie, Naturally Inspired Gifts, O.K. Hatchery and Paperdolls.
“The St. Louis Blues are well represented in downtown Kirkwood,” Poe wrote.
Griffin also said he worried about the plan.
“I don’t want to get in the habit of something good happening and people taking away potential business from our merchants,” he said.
Councilwoman Nancy Luetzow also wondered about how sales tax would be collected from such operations.
“There could be issues if the council grants the requests — this could set a precedent for itinerant merchants setting up,” City Attorney John Hessel said.
“First, we’d have the Blues merchandise being sold, then velvet Elvis portraits,” he joked.