Americana at Brand Issues Apology to Armenian Cart Vendors
GLENDALE—The Americana at Brand issued an apology to Armenian cart vendors after the shopping center’s management chose to bar them from selling their merchandise saying that it was inappropriate.
“We would like to apologize to our cart tenants, Tina Chuldzhyan, Alex Kodagolian and Armin Hariri, for the regrettable misunderstanding regarding their cart’s merchandise,” the Americana at Brand posted on the company’s Facebook page. “The cart tenant is more than welcome to have its product in question displayed on the cart.”
On Monday, Asbarez published an article by Harut Saassounian, in his regular “My Turn” column, in which the he reported on Americana’s decision to ban the sale of Armenian Genocide-themed t-shirts.
“Three young Armenian entrepreneurs rented a cart last month at the Americana — a large shopping-restaurant-theater complex in Glendale — to sell T-shirts, hats, and other clothing items advertised on their shop1915.com website.
After Americana’s leasing staff approved their merchandise, Tina Chuldzhyan, Alex Kodagolian, and Armin Hariri (a rapper known as ‘R-Mean’) began selling their merchandise.
On February 12, the opening day of their business, the three Armenians were unexpectedly told by Americana’s management to keep their cart family-friendly and remove all pictures of protests. Even though there were no pictures of any protests on the cart — just posters of people wearing the T-shirts on sale — Chuldzhyan told The California Courier that she immediately took down the posters to avoid any conflict with Americana.
On Feb. 25, Americana issued an ultimatum telling Tina and her two partners that within 24 hours they had to change the kind of merchandise they were selling, claiming that there had been public complaints about the ‘genocide’ clothing. Otherwise, they would have three days to vacate the premises.
Fearing that they were on the verge of eviction, the three entrepreneurs agreed not to display the Armenian T-shirts, and sell them only if requested by a customer. Later that afternoon, an Americana official reiterated that all clothing items with the ‘genocide’ theme had to be completely removed from the cart,” wrote Sassounian.