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Abercrombie's Hollister in Trouble Over The Disabled


Photo: Nthach/Wikimedia

Remember the brouhaha over the CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch public dissin' of fat women? Well, it seems that they don't like disabled people, either. A judge in Colorado is considering forcing Hollister, a clothing company owned by Abercrombie, to make their stores more accessible to the disabled:

Lawyer Amy Robertson, who represents the disabled in the lawsuit, compared the case with the fight against racial segregation in the 1960s.

She said that in one case, Julie Farrar, who is confined to a wheelchair, had trouble when she tried to go with her daughter through a side door of one the Colorado stores because there was no access to the front door. She and several other disabled patrons filed a lawsuit in 2009. [...]

The stores put signs on the sides of the doors, one for "Dudes" and the other for "Bettys," and argued that they were complying with federal regulations because the side doors were accessible to the able-bodied and disabled alike, Robertson said.

"In the Jim Crow era, you had a white entrance and a colored entrance off to the side. These stores put up signs for Dudes and Bettys and called it integrated," she said Wednesday.

Abercrombie's lawyers argue that changing the elevated entrance to the stores would cause "immense ... loss in sales and revenue" and "permanent damage to the Hollister brand."

Link - via MSN


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I could possibly see it being okay, since there is another way in, if it were stand alone stores in existing buildings that would need to be expensively renovated to make it so that the front entrance was easily accessible for all. Like if they were operating in a Victorian era building, it could be a major challenge to retrofit it. But the one in the pic at least and the only other one I've ever seen,too,are mall stores. It's not that expensive and difficult to make a mall store accessible. Pretty much every other mall store manages it. And I could see maybe not automatically thinking about the disabled when you're designing your entrance (though really, you should. assuming you pay professionals to do that, they are absolutely used to making public places very accessible and totally ADA compliant.), but when the problem is pointed out, you fix it, politely and as quickly as possible.

While I don't usually side with the ADA trolls who go around just hunting for settlements by targeting non-compliant businesses, I'd be all for them targeting these a-holes. Every Hollister shop in every state in the country ought to be a target for a suit. Since the company clearly has no heart, they should be hit in the pocket book mercilessly.
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Well, if enough people disagree with Hollister's attitude towards disabled folks then perhaps some public 'shaming' might help get the message across. Maybe a group of folks who are physically handicapped could all crowd around all the entrances to their stores and each person can have a go at trying to enter the store. The back-up/traffic jam would definitely be annoying and it most certainly would cause a crowd of spectators to gather around to watch the endeavor.
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