Airbrush Business Owner Says Unjustly Evicted After Mall Shooting
(Memphis) A Memphis business owner claims she is the target of racial profiling after getting eviction notices from two area malls.
Hotspots Airbrushing is losing its lease in 30 days from Oak Court Mall and Wolfchase Galleria.
Both malls are managed by the same company, Simon.
Both had high-profile crimes committed at them in recent weeks and now one retailer believes they’re putting the blame on them, and it’s not fair.
“It affects our livelihood and it also affects the workers that we have at both locations,” said Kemicia Sims.
Husband and wife, Reginald and Kemicia Sims, own Hotspots Airbrushing.
One is a store in Wolfchase, the other a kiosk at Oak Court.
Notice has been given that the mall is terminating both leases.
The Sims say it’s not right.
“When the guy got shot in front of our kiosk, how does that have anything to do with us,” questioned Reginald Sims.
The Sims say they didn’t know the suspect or the shooter in Oak Court Mall.
The victim just happened to be purchasing a shirt from them.
“We felt like what if this had happened in front of Boost Mobile, would they have gotten an eviction?” said Sims.
Sims says prior to the eviction notice, he got a visit from security saying mall management was cracking down on businesses bringing an unwanted element into the mall.
Sims had no idea, they were taking about his business, “At Hotspot Airbrushing we do not do anything that’s gang related or anything dealing with profanity.”
The eviction notice indicates the lease is terminated because of section 3 of the lease.
WREG checked section 3 it says the landlord has a right to terminate the lease early.
It doesn’t say a reason has to be given.
Sims’ wife believes she knows what mall management is thinking, “A majority of the clients are African-American youth. If I remove them from the scenery, will that give me a clean up there to make the civilians think it’s safer to come into the mall?”
Mrs. Sims added, “Let me assure you, that is not the answer.”
WREG reached out to Simon, the company that manages Oak Court and Wolfchase Galleria.
We have not heard back from them about why they’re asking Hotspots Airbrushing to leave.
The Sims also say they don’t know of any other business being kicked out.
They’ve hired a lawyer and started a petition to protest.