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Federal judge orders Hollister to install wheelchair access for customers

Hollister storeThose unique stairway entrances at Hollister clothing stores across the country are about to get a makeover.

On Friday, a federal judge in Denver ordered Hollister to take necessary action to remodel the entrances at their stores to make them accessible to individuals who use wheelchairs, as the Denver Business Journal reported.

The ruling comes five months after U.S. District Judge Wiley Daniel first ruled that the staircase entrances to Hollister stores are a violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act. Back in 2009, a group of disabled customers filed a complaint against Hollister, claiming that the staircase entrances discriminate against individuals with certain disabilities.

Currently, about 40 percent of Hollister stores — or more than 230 locations — feature a staircase entrance that leads into their retail space. According to a company executive, the entrances are modeled after Southern California style porches, designed to all a person to “walk up onto the porch or walk down into the porch, to enter, like you would do at a beach house.”

According to the ruling, Hollister must modify the main entrance on all of their stores that feature the staircase opening to ensure that it is accessible to individuals who use wheelchairs by January 2017. This may include installing a wheelchair ramp, or simply removing the stairs and utilizing a flat ground entrance.

The recent ruling is just one more blemish on the appearance of Hollister’s parent company, Abercrombie & Fitch Co. Back in May, a Los Angeles writer started an effort to distribute Abercrombie & Fitch clothing to the homeless in response to reports that A&F stores burn damaged clothing instead of selling them at a discount or giving them to homeless individuals. The company has also refused to sell XL and XXL sizes for women, which has prompted outrage over a perceived bias against overweight individuals wearing the company logo.

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