International fashion brand Zara’s no-trolley policy came under fire this week when employees at their Cresta Shopping Mall branch refused to make an exception to their rule to accommodate a child with pulmonary hypertension who had her oxygen tank in a trolley.
Shaakira Bodhania told The Daily Vox she tried to enter the store on Wednesday June 21 with her seven-year-old daughter Humayra, who was sitting in the trolley.
Bodhania said she shops at Cresta Shopping Mall regularly because it is accommodating to children with special needs. Humayra usually uses a mobility scooter, as she is unable to walk long distances without getting out of breath. But on that particular day they did not have the scooter with them, so Humayra sat in a trolley with her oxygen tank while they shopped.
When they tried to enter Zara, they were stopped by security. “Thuli, the store manager then came to me and said this is not allowed and if you shop with a trolley, you are not allowed to shop in our store. So I said, ‘But clearly you can make an exception’,” she said.
Bodhania says the manager gave her the Zara customer services email address to take the matter further.
Zara has a no-trolley policy, which it says exists for health, safety and security reasons. After Bodhania posted about the incident on Facebook and Instagram, several people responded saying they had also been prevented from entering the store with their children with special needs in trolleys. One commenter said she could not enter the store with her elderly mother, who uses a trolley to assist her with walking in malls.
Bodhania says she has since received several emails from Zara, including from the Zara head office in Spain, in which the retailer apologised for the incident and promised to look into the conduct of their staff. The retailer also posted an apology on her Facebook page, saying that it would be revising its trolley policy to include health-related exceptions.
Bodhania said she would accept the brand’s apology, but would like them to make concrete policy changes to accommodate children with special needs and to also show sincere remorse about the issue.
Featured image via Wikimedia Commons