College and high school students in New York City might have to throw out their clothes as the widely popular brand Hollister was forced to shut down their epic SoHo store because of a three-week long on-going bed bug infestation.
Many veteran New Yorkers, including myself, consider the 40,000-square-foot store’s painted building-side campaign the ugliest billboard-esque design, plaguing the famed shopping city, and now it seems the company actually is plaguing the city.
Hollister is the sister store to the popular Abercrombie and Fitch brand.
The sign on the outside of the door of the store says it is closed for “maintenance,” but a company spokesperson confirmed that the infestation was the reasoning behind the stores refurbishing.
Everyday, models and employees are hired to stand at the entrance practically naked, and the inside of the store is almost completely dark, perfect for bed bugs, who only feed at night.
Reports show that employees and a manager first reported the problem three weeks ago, but the company ignored the complaints and employees continued working even as more bugs were discovered. Employees are disclosing now that multiple employees are covered in bites and one employee found an exoskeleton of a bedbug on one of her borrowed garments.
If you have been in the store in the last month you are at risk to have contracted the bugs and carried them home with you.
According to Michael Martin, a professor at Fordham University School of Law, “Technically it’s a breach of warranty of merchantability, the usual remedy for that, first of all you can get price back and, second, you might well be able to recover for the consequential injuries. I’d be willing to take that case.”
Are you getting itchy just reading this?