Clothing chain Hollister to make store entrances wheelchair accessible

25 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Clothing chain Hollister to remove steps from entrances.

DENVER (AP) — The clothing chain Hollister will get rid of steps at its trademark entrances at dozens of stores across the U.S. to make the doorways wheelchair accessible as part of a settlement approved Thursday by a federal judge. The agreement marks the end of a six-year court battle involving the retailer that specializes in Southern California-inspired casual wear targeted at teens. The Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition filed a lawsuit in 2009 arguing that Hollister violated federal law by limiting wheelchair users to side entrances. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned that ruling last year, finding that the store did not break the law, in part because it offered alternative entrances for wheelchair users, but it did not dismiss the case. Hollister, owned by Abercrombie & Fitch Co., had already started converting many of its storefronts before the settlement was finalized, saying it also has spent $11 million on additional accessibility measures.

The company has gotten rid of stairs at some stores, keeping the porch look, and is also converting other stores to a more sleek, minimal look with flat entrances that it says isn’t connected with the settlement. Future stores would no longer have raised entrances, and wheelchair users would be able to enter from the same door as other customers, under the settlement.

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