If you’ve ever been near a Hollister store, you know that it reeks of mildewy cologne spilt in a hot bathroom. But you also may know that its storefront is inaccessible to those with disabilities, as they are made to look like porches to “surf shacks,” stairs included (as you can see above). After a four-year class-action lawsuit against the company for discrimination, a judge has ruled that Hollister’s stores violate the Americans With Disabilities Act.
That’s right: four years. Four years for the company to be forced into actually altering their ways. “They’re digging their heels in. They’ve been digging in their heels all the way,” said Julie Farrar, one of the plaintiffs. What started as complaints against two Colorado stores for their inaccessibility turned into an enormous suit involving 248 Hollister stores, all of which had the same inaccessible entranceways.
Farrar says that she would “never go through a side door,” and that this lawsuit is going to hopefully alter how companies like Hollister and awful parent company Abercrombie & Fitch see those who aren’t the “ideal” customer.
“These stores are designed to look shuttered and hidden, as if to keep out the riffraff. I want people to know that, as a society, we have evolved over the past 25 years. Despite the fact that [Hollister]market[s] beauty and athleticism as a stereotype, the reality is they still need the rest of us people who are short, chubby and maybe with acne and wheelchairs.”
Apparently, they’re all, “whatever man” about life in general (i.e. they don’t care about anything unless it gets them money):
Hollister is a “fantasy of Southern California,” according to a 2013 report to shareholders. “It’s all about hot lifeguards and beautiful beaches… Young and fun, with a sense of humor, Hollister never takes itself too seriously. Hollister’s laidback lifestyle and All-American image is timeless and effortlessly cool.”
Yes, it’s so very effortless to require somebody to literally drag you in your wheelchair up some steps, or go around the side so you feel out-of-place entirely. It’s not “cool,” nor is it “timeless.” In fact, discrimination of any sort is likely the easiest way to seem dated.
Fortunately, the federal judge for the case ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, and stated that Hollister is violating the ADA. Hollister will now have to work with disability specialists to make their stores accessible.
Considering it’s owned by the most hated (and irrelevant) clothing store of the moment, it was unsurprising that Hollister has yet to create accessible entrances. It was unsurprising, but it is still completely necessary that they get kicked in the monetary stomach for acting like ignorant idiots when such a large company should know better.
Photo: crazytales562 / Flickr