Anti-Stroller Store Upsets Georgetown Moms
Veronika Archer encountered an unexpected policy when she and her toddler strolled into Exquisite Fabrics at the Shops at Georgetown Park. As she entered the store, a female clerk approached her and asked her to leave her stroller at the door. Stunned, Archer immediately asked why. The clerk did not explain, but simply pointed to the sign at the door and stated, "It's our policy."
Archer said she spent 10 minutes trying to understand the reasoning behind the policy, which is less time than she would have actually spent shopping in the store. "I've never heard of such a policy," said Archer. To which the clerk curtly replied, "You can expect to see more like it in the future." The clerk also proposed that Archer leave her child and stroller at the door or carry him around while she shopped.
"I can't believe that a store would implement a policy that would turn away customers in this economy," Archer said. "I just wanted to know why."
Mo Razvan, the store owner, says the policy is nothing new. "We have had this policy for 40 years. Everybody has this policy: government buildings, the metro. It's nothing new." Exquisite Fabrics moved from K Street to Georgetown last year.
Elizabeth Miller, another Georgetown mom asked to abandon her three-month-old, sleeping baby in the stroller by the door said, "People are usually so nice. They hold doors, and they help you out. It is such a shock when they are anti-baby." She recently took her children on a tour of the Capitol and was not asked to leave her stroller at the door. However, Metro busses do require strollers to be folded, she said.
Razvan says the policy at Exquisite Fabrics is not meant to drive away customers, but rather, protect the children. The store is packed tight with merchandise. Razvan says if a stroller were to bump the large bolts of fabric, the merchandise would fall and could hurt the children. Strollers can also block aisles and the cash area, making it difficult for other customers to shop. DC Metro has also implemented the policy for children's safety.
The policy is also meant to protect the merchandise. Razvan said, "Today, strollers are big, they have coffee and snacks and they can spill. You know some mothers are good and they watch, and some kids just play with the buttons. Others are not so good, you know?" Razvan says children may enter the store, but parents must watch them closely.
Miller understands that stores want to protect merchandise. She takes issue with the female clerk. "There is a way to say it and a tone," she said. "What's wrong is implying that I leave my sleeping baby alone by the door. It would be different if she had said, That I could move the stroller behind the counter, or that the clerk would watch my child for a few minutes while I grabbed what I needed." If the female clerk were courteous and polite, Miller thought she might not have been so upset.
The Georgetown Dish checked in with Paper Source, Urban Outfitters, and Pottery Barn, none of whom have stroller policies. "We love strollers," said the guard at Urban Outfitters. "We have a special elevator they can use."