A spokesman for the Abercrombie & Fitch subsidiary connfirms the closing, saying the bedbugs were "affecting certain isolated areas of the store. Our primary concern in any situation of this nature is our customers and associates. We are taking all necessary steps to eradicate the problem as soon as possible and expect the store to reopen shortly," reports The Wall Street Journal.
StyleList couldn't reach anyone at the 40,000-square-foot flagship store, which opened last summer. A voice message simply states, "Our store is currently closed and will reopen soon."
According to the Gothamist, an anonymous source who works at the store claims senior management ignored bedbug complaints for nearly a month. Here's what the source tells the site in an e-mail:
"The four-story flagship store is known for hiring models and having them stand around the store scantily clad to help market the brand. The first report of bedbug bites in the store was three weeks ago by an 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.
"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 of the stores in the area as bedbugs spread like wildfire.
"Bedbugs only feed at night, and if you've ever been inside Hollister, you know that it is almost completely dark. I'm sure you can imagine the store has become a bedbug breeding ground since it was first exposed. Go Hollister!"
OK, we're ready for a shower now. But if you want to gross yourself out a little more, check out this new report on bacteria in your reusable shopping bags. Pass the Lysol!