Why is Sunday shopping prohibited in Wyckoff and throughout Bergen County?

The Sunday shopping prohibition is not a complete shopping ban. Also known as the Blue Laws (originally written on blue paper - hence the name) NJSA 2A:171-5.8 prohibits the sale on Sunday of clothing or wearing apparel, building and lumber supply materials, furniture, home, business or office furnishings, household, business or office appliance. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the constitutionality of Sunday sales prohibitions in 1961.

Chapter 104 of the Code of the Township of Wyckoff enumerates the exceptions to the Sunday sales prohibition. It lists the following as acceptable for sale on Sunday.

  • The preparation for sale of drugs, meals, prepared food, agricultural and horticultural products (not including any hardware or equipment), non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages and tobacco products.
  • The sale and delivery of milk products.
  • The printing, publication, sale and delivery of newspapers.
  • The pursuit of horticulture not for hire or recompense.
  • Recreational activities.
  • Sale of gasoline, oil and emergency repairs in connection with motor vehicles.
  • Sale of personal hygiene products; stationery supplies; greeting cards; film and camera supplies; flashlights and supplies; first aid products; infant care products; health and beauty aids; candy and confectionery items; magazines, books and publications; florist and floral supplies.
  • The sale, offering for sale and showing of real estate.

In 1980 Bergen County voters turned down a referendum to abolish the Sunday shopping prohibition. Most recently in November 1993, a county wide referendum to abolish the Sunday sales prohibition was defeated by a vote of 2 to 1 of all Bergen County voters. In Wyckoff the referendum was defeated by a slightly higher vote.