Anti-Stroller Store Upsets Georgetown Moms

Photo by Beth Koralia
No Strollers Allowed
No Strollers Allowed

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." 

0 Comments For This Article

Anonymous

If you were a serious customer, you could see there simply is no room for ANY SIZE stroller in that store due to the extremely narrow isles in that small store layout. Second, If you
allow one double stroller into that fabric store you would have to allow ALL CUSTOMERS WITH STROLLERS and there would be absolutely no standing room to even pass safely in that store to view, shop or simply move about in that shop ! You OMITTED these important facts!
You NEVER leave your or any child alone, unattended in any town or country!
You either wait till your children are awake and carry them into the store so that you may shop or you return at a more opportune time alone without the burden of responsibility for your children. It is as clear and simple as that.
You omitted the facts of the matter. The shop is full of fabrics and has extremely narrow isles !!! And cannot safely accommodate all strollers and all mothers who feel the same sense of entitlement as you.

The next nearest fabric store to DC is a 30 minute drive to Falls Church VA. Check out how stroller- friendly that store is with a narrow steep escalator or stairs!

Here in the District, we wish people from
other states, now residing here, would remember their
Manners! The rude factor among new comers is off the charts! If you wish to be served... think how you mistreat the locals who have served this community before you arrived and will continue to do so long after
you leave.
After reading your complaint I am convinced you are
whiner and a complainer by nature!

Marv

This issue seems to be related to the new, clarified policy by Metro and the Circulator buses which bans oversized strollers and clarifies that the bus driver has the discretion to advise parents to fold their strollers. Evidently at some point a couple of riders argued with the bus driver when they were requested to fold up their stroller.

I don't understand. Is there now a social stigma against holding/carrying babies? Why is it such a problem to respect a merchant's (or any other entity's) policy? Sometimes people should think ahead when there are little ones involved. Many places like the National Aquarium also ban strollers. Back carriers work, as do a parent's loving arms, courtesy, and common sense.

Ms. Fran Decker

I cannot believe how whining and rude Veronika Archer was in complaining that she was requested to leave the stroller at the door. Just because you chose to shop when you had your child with you does not mean the entire world needs to bend! I have been to this store and found the merchandise to be excellent. In many cases the fabrics and other items are fragile. I can fully understand why the owner instituted the policy and thank him for it! BY not allowing strollers and unmanaged children in his store he keeps costs down because he does not need to deal with damaged goods!

Anonymous

Wow.

""...or that the clerk would watch my child for a few minutes while I grabbed what I needed."

Words almost fail me at the reek of entitlement wafting from this statement. What colossal nerve, to suggest that a store clerk now devote time to babysitting, and that the store accept the liability if anything happens to the little prince/princess when that clerk is inevitably distracted by, you know, actually clerking for other customers.

Anonymous

As a customer who has been trapped behind slow moving stroller moms many, many times, I can only applaud the store's decision. Strollers clog aisles and slow down the rest of us who only want to "take a few minutes while (we) grabbed what (we) needed." Your child is *not* the center of my interest.

Please think of others.

Anonymous

I also tried to shop at this store but when I was instructed to leave my sleeping 3 month old at the front door in a shopping mall or to wake her up and get her out of the stroller, I just took my business elsewhere. Rather than expecting the store to watch your baby, I would encourage other moms to just shop at another store.

As a side note, it must be nice for this retailer to be doing so well in this economy that it has the luxury of turning away customers with strollers. I would have thought that moms made up most of the market for a fabric store - guess I was wrong.

Anonymous

It must be nice for a fabric store to have such a booming business in this economy that it can afford to turn away all shoppers with strollers.

Anonymous

Any store with a similar policy will most certainly get my business. Strollers are a safety issue. They block fire exits.

I take issue with the mother who whined about the "tone" of the clerk. Most mothers are very quick to take a "tone" with anyone who questions them; perhaps they should listen to themselves.

Bravo to this store for not bowing to pressure from soccer moms.

Monica C.

As a mom with a stroller I understand that it's a small store and find no fault with their policy. Maybe the clerk could've explained it better. What really annoys me is that many stores and other places have special policies, ramps and parking spots for disabled people which they don't share with pregnant ladies or moms with strollers. In other countries moms often get more respect. Here women are supposed to work while pregnant or after only 3 months after giving birth. No one seems to appreciate how HARD it is to be pregnant and be a mom....even women get low self esteem because if they don't "do it all" they are judged as lazy....sometimes I wish I lived back in the '50s, when there was nothing lame about being a stay at home mom. My baby is very happy and friendly, I just wish that the guard at the Barnes and Noble at Georgetown would let mr use the disabled people ramp, or at least pick up the stroller himself and not just stare blankly at me, like I'm as strong as he is...even if I were, what happened to good old fashioned manners like "ladies first"???

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