If you’ve been walking past Soho’s Hollister flagship store in the past month and sensed something iffy about the twitching shirtless models, recent reports confirms that your instincts are telling the truth.
An anonymous employee recently revealed to Gothamist that an out of control bedbug infestation is the reason behind the store’s temporary closing yesterday. And get this: the decision to temporarily close its doors was made one month after the first case. With our office neighboring the four-story store, we’re praying that the critters haven’t nestled into our own garments.
The origin of the infestation is unknown, but despite the health and safety concerns of its employees, senior management set aside the ongoing complaints for almost a month. It’s peculiar to us as to how management can easily bypass its workers itching through their sheer shirts and strategically ripped denim jeans, as the anonymous source revealed some eye-opening details on the aforementioned cases:
The first report of bedbug bites in the store was three weeks ago by and employee and a manager, but that was ignored. On Tuesday the 29th, an employee found that she had been bitten, and also found a live bedbug and an exoskeleton on her borrowed Hollister outfit. All of the employees were forced to continue working even though more and more bugs were being discovered.
The apparent concern for Hollister throughout this mess was not the health and safety concerns of both part-time and full-time employees of the flagship, but losing money. And frankly, this makes no sense. The stacks of folded clothing in the darkened environment of the store is a recipe for bedbug heaven. It’s no question that these bedbugs have multiplied in the past month of neglect, and with shoppers going in and out of the store on a daily basis we can certainly expect a lawsuit from many an angry customer in the near future.
Michael M. Martin, a professor at Fordham University School of Law, told the Wall Street Journal that the infestation is a breach of warranty in merchandise, basically saying that this could be a field day for customers.
“I’d be willing to take that case,” he concludes.
Act fast Hollister, because the repercussions aren’t looking pretty.