Back last December I noted that H&M in Walnut Creek closed their bathrooms, blaming shoplifting, however they are now semi-open, although you’ll need to contact an employee to let you in as they still have the locks.
I would like to share a story that may shed some light on H&M’s global bathroom policy. While vacationing in Tokyo last month, my family stopped by a huge, crowded four-story H&M to do a little shopping. Around that time my toddler son needed to go to the bathroom. Noticing that the men’s section was on the top floor, I decided to head up there as I figured that would be the closest bathroom. After waiting an unseemly amount of time for the elevator, we get to the top, and I quickly asked a Japanese H&M employee where the bathroom was. Turns out, there are no bathrooms in the department-sized Tokyo H&M. Incredulous, I asked whether there were any women’s bathrooms. No, nothing she replied. So with my son getting antsy, I told her my son needed to use the bathroom, and asked her whether she could tell me the location of the nearest bathroom in the area. She told me that she could not tell me. Not that she didn’t know, but that it was against store policy to tell as it wouldn’t be fair to the other store. This despite my little kid having to go badly.
In the end, despite getting very close to having my kid go potty right in the middle of the floor, we ran as fast as possible outside and found an electronics store nearby that I remember had a bathroom. But I’ll always associate H&M with their stingy bathroom policies around the world.
Am I over-reacting here with H&M bathrooms? Why do other stores, with their own shoplifting issues have bathrooms, but H&M Walnut Creek is locked down? Since this should be Friday Question of the Day, what do you think about large stores locking down or closing bathrooms?