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Published April 02 2010

Stop-N-Go stores take porn off shelves

A Fargo-based convenience store chain that boasts the “Best Buns in Town” will no longer carry bare buns on its shelves.

Customers can still stop at Stop-N-Go for their gas and goods, but they’ll have to go elsewhere for adult magazines.

Sheldon Ellig, who owns the chain, said adult magazines were previously removed from six Stop-N-Go stores. Others pulled the magazines this week.

“We have had a number of people ask us to take them out, so we’re saying – even though we have some customers that are going to make a scene that we don’t have them – we have to deal with the majority of the customers that come into our store,” he said. “So, all we’re trying to do is, we want to keep everybody happy, and we want to minimize the problem.”

Ellig wouldn’t confirm whether the move was companywide, but said, “We’re not going to want to discriminate.”

Stop-N-Go has more than 20 locations in North Dakota and Minnesota, including more than a dozen in the Fargo-Moorhead metro area, according to the company’s Web site.

“We’re talking about (the fact that) we’re having people getting involved in drugs and getting involved in sex-oriented crimes, and we’re having all that type of stuff, and where does it start?” Ellig said. “It starts with the parents having control of their children, and they don’t always have control. It’s not that they don’t want to, but I’m just saying to myself, it’s not easy to raise a family today.”

Stop-N-Go isn’t the first convenience store in Fargo-Moorhead to shed its adult magazine section.

Kum & Go was purged of porn two or three years ago after an e-mailed edict from corporate headquarters, said Clark Ridgway, manager at the 13th Avenue South store in Fargo.

Ridgway said he’s not sure why the decision was made, but he said it hasn’t hurt the business.

A manager at a competing convenience store in Fargo, who declined to give his name because official statements must come from his corporate office, called it a “big statement” for Stop-N-Go to pull the magazines, which he said are a high-sales, high-profit item.

“That would be like pulling cigarettes,” he said.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528