A woman in California says that Anthropologie used to be her favorite store, but she gave serious thought to boycotting the chain after a store manager asked her to please feed her six-week-old son in the bathroom, not in the back of the store. The goal? To make everyone more “comfortable.”
Why didn’t she just cover up, you ask? She claims that she was using a cover to shield the public from the sight of her infant eating, but that wasn’t good enough for the Anthropologie Boob Police. Instead of a quiet corner of the stockroom or a dedicated lactation room, which some businesses now have, the store manager escorted the mother and son to the store’s restroom and invited them to have a seat on the toilet.
After leaving the store, the mother called to discuss the incident with the same manager who had escorted her to feed her child while sitting on a toilet. The manager’s response? “I thought you and the other customers would be more comfortable off the sales floor,” the mother recounted on Facebook. “We must be fair to all the customers, not just moms.”
Sure, Anthropologie doesn’t sell gauzy $180 infant sundresses, but the store was not in the right here. Like many states, California has a law that explicitly says that mothers are allowed to feed their babies in any place that they’re normally permitted to be. That means the customer couldn’t go nurse in the stockroom without permission, or break into someone’s house to nurse in a comfy armchair. However, the sales floor of a store where she was about to drop $700 on new clothes is a perfectly legal place to feed a baby.
Whether it’s polite in modern American society is another matter, and that’s a subject about which many pixels have been spilled on this and other sites. After the mother posted about the incident on Facebook, outrage spread across Los Angeles and the world, and a nurse-in was planned in front of the store yesterday afternoon.
We are disappointed to hear of the unfortunate experience that occurred in our Beverly Hills store. As a company comprised of hundreds of mothers, which seeks to put the customer first, we celebrate women in all of their life stages. Given our staff’s dedication to providing exceptional customer service, we welcome this as an opportunity to enhance our customer experience by providing further training and education for our staff. Our aim is that all women – all mothers – be comfortable in our stores and delight in their relationship with Anthropologie.