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Midwest retailer to keep Salvation Army ringers

November 29, 2011
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BRAINERD, Minn.—A Midwestern retailer has changed its mind about a decision not to allow Salvation Army bell ringers to collect donations outside its stores.

Mills Fleet Farm said Tuesday that the decision to give direct donations to local Salvation Army chapters instead of allowing bell ringers was "unfortunate."

The company said it thought the move would immediately benefit the Salvation Army in the 31 cities where Mills Fleet Farm has stores. The company now says, "We were wrong."

WAOW-TV in Wausau, Wis., first reported about the Brainerd, Minn.-based retailer's decision not to allow the bell ringers. Co-President Stewart Mills Jr. told the station the company feared allowing them could open the floodgates to others wanting to use its property.

Mills Fleet Farm has stores in Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota and Iowa.

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