If you've ever walked down Broadway just south of Houston Street, you know the Hollister. There are always shirtless lifeguard-type boys outside, urging you in? It's quite effective! Not so effective? Bedbugs, which are what the store is currently battling.
The Wall Street Journal tells us (gotta pay for that article) and Gothamist confirms that the downtown branch of the teen-centric Abercrombie & Fitch spin-off (it's the Joey to Abercrombie's Friends) has had an infestation for some time, and that the store is not currently closed due to construction, as it had at one point been telling disappointed shoppers. Gothamist paints a more grim picture than the Hollister spokesman quoted in the WSJ. The site spoke to an anonymous employee who told them this gross tale:
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.
Multiple employees were covered in bites. Hollister was more concerned about losing money than the health and safety of their hundreds of employees and thousands of customers. If they were concerned in the least, the store would have been shut down the moment the first bugs were discovered. Just today they closed the store down, but who knows how many employees and customers were exposed to the outbreak in the past three weeks, only jeopardizing the rest if the stores in the area as bedbugs spread like wildfire.
Guhhh. The employee then goes on to point out how dark the store is, which means things were able to creep and crawl and burrow and bite unnoticed for god knows how long.
Apparently they've now posted shirtless models outside (run! go see 'em!) to tell folks to turn back, making many would-be eager shoppers very sad. The WSJ spoke to some of these poor people:
On Wednesday, Sylvia Mak of Brooklyn saw the sign saying the store was closed and was confused. She and her two daughters, ages 12 and 13, had planned a shopping spree. They'd wanted to spend $70, or more, on shirts.
"We're very disappointed," said Ms. Mak of the closing.
Actually, lady? I think those bedbugs just did you a favor.