NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - People are familiar with the flashy, sometimes loud sales tactics on Bourbon Street. However, on Royal Street, the atmosphere’s a little different.
One manager didn’t want to be identified, but he said the sales people from a couple of soap shops along their street are negatively affecting his business, and the customers are growing tired of it.
“We kinda call them street hawkers…soap samples are being thrown at customers. They’re leaving the threshold of their business, walking on to the street,” he said.
Between businesses, residents and employees, more than 100 people have signed a petition calling for a stop to the sales tactics from soap shops: Tresor Rare, nrsh, Savons and La Beaule in the French Quarter. The petition says the city should “protect its visitors and make sure that the walking and shopping in the French Quarter is a positive experience as opposed to one of being harassed.”
“People sometimes are walking across the street to get away from them, or they get trapped in this long conversation from a sales point, and then they’re flustered and just want to get out of Royal Street and move on,” said the business manager.
According to city ordinances, any person wanting to distribute product samples or solicit on streets or sidewalks needs to apply for a permits. But those permits are not valid in the French Quarter. The only exceptions are Bourbon Street barkers.
We brought these concerns to the owner of the Tresor Rare soap shop on Royal Street, Mosag Habad.
“The way this business works, you’re familiar with the way cosmetics, they have to be sampled outside,” said Habad.
He told us he’s a hard-working business owner and is aware of the petition, but wishes he could come to an agreement with his neighbors.
Reporter: “But would you consider changing the sales tactic?”
Mosag: “As I was saying, we have direct line here, everyone on this block - especially on this block - because I’m doing business on the block for three years. Now I’m doing on Decatur, and every neighbor I have which is, as long as me on the block, people will tell you I’m a guy you can come talk, I will always listen and change my technique and do something different because I don’t like to get in these situations.”
But to some, the solution is simple.
“Conduct your business inside your business, advertise as you’re capable of advertising, market appropriately and give people a reason to come into your business,” said the business manager.
City Council member Kristin Palmer, whose district is over this area, responded to the concerns.
Her office sent a statement saying: “Council member Palmer expects all business in the district to be good neighbors and ensure they are showing the very best side of our city to residents and visitors alike. She believes any business not following the law should be addressed by the appropriate city authority to help them get back in compliance.”
FOX 8 has not heard back from NOPD to see if they are investigating these concerns.