HOLLISTER, Calif. (GlossyNews) — Residents of Hollister, Calif. may find themselves on the wrong side of yet another lawsuit by clothing giant Hollister Co after bedbugs were discovered in Hollister Co’s SoHo store in New York.
While the source of the bedbugs has not yet been determined, all signs point to a certain Hollister, Calif. bed and breakfast called the Hollister House Ninepin Bowling and Gift Emporium. Local residents refer to the structure as an inn. Architects point out that the building is little more than a renovated Stuckey’s with a two-lane bowling alley installed near the kitchen.
An аnсіеnt humаn ѕсоurgе hаѕ returned tо cause раnіс among hоmе аnd рrореrtу owners, home buуеrѕ аnd Rеаltоrѕ. Bеd bugѕ hаvе іnvаdеd every state in thе U.S. аnd the reports of an іnfеѕtаtіоn cases have increased exponentially nationwide оvеr thе past few уеаrѕ. In a nаtіоnаl survey оf pest соntrоl соmраnіеѕ соnduсtеd by noted bed bug аuthоrіtу Michael Pоttеr fоr Pest Mаnаgеmеnt Professional, Pоttеr fоund, “A whopping 91% оf rеѕроndеntѕ rероrtеd thеіr оrgаnіzаtіоnѕ hаd еnсоuntеrеd bеd bug infestations in the past twо уеаrѕ. Only 37% ѕаіd they encountered bеd bugs more thаn 5 years аgо.”
Readers may recall that earlier this year Glossy News broke the story of Abercrombie & Fitch’s suit against Hollister, Calif. over naming rights. The intent of the legal action was to force the town change its name so that the Hollister Co brand was never again associated with the dubiously quaint image that Hollister, Calif. projects. That lawsuit was eventually thrown out of court after a disgraced British executive from the company’s UK headquarters offered a bizarre testimony. His depictions of the town during the hearing shocked jurors and attorneys alike.
One juror told reporters, “It wasn’t that we didn’t believe his story of Hollister as a forgotten hamlet full of cannibalistic monsters and demon children who summon Satan in the corn fields; we did. It was just that he came across as batshit crazy.”
That executive, Hugh Humbert-Lardwick, concluded his awkward testimony with this emotional appeal: “It would be merciful, I think, to burn this city to the ground, for it must dream. It must weep.” Humbert-Lardwick was subsequently killed in Nogales, Arizona, in an unrelated scandal involving gun rights, immigration controls and deportation.
Yet, the case did not die with Humbert-Lardwick. Court records show that new motions have been filed by Hollister, Calif. to countersue Hollister Co for slander, but those motions have been denied. Like so many small towns in California, the economic crisis has drained municipal coffers. The city also dove into the red after its efforts to defend the initial lawsuit filed by Abercrombie & Fitch. According to the city’s controller, “The only revenue we really take in comes from the local Target. Sometimes from events that Hell’s Angels throw, but then all those revenues go back into clean up and reconstruction.”
Seeking to avoid further negative publicity, city leaders decided to extend an offer of settlement to Hollister Co wherein they would give executives from Hollister Co a key to the city and house them for a week, allowing them to shoot a spread for their upcoming fall catalogue, utilizing the city’s lovely rolling hill landscape as a backdrop—all expenses paid.
When some members of Humbert-Lardwick’s original team were approached with the idea, they adamantly refused to travel a second time to what they called “that dung heap of a city.” But a sales crew from Hollister Co’s New York offices expressed interest in going.
“Rolling hills, west coast, close to San Francisco, how could that possibly be bad?” claimed Morty Friedman, NY’s General Manager. And so, a few hardy New York souls ventured to Hollister, Calif. to take advantage of the promised hospitality.
Sadly, what they got in return was a horrifying infestation of bedbugs. “Hugh was right,” Friedman said after arriving back in New York two days early. “It was like something out of a 50’s B-movie. I’m still trying to get the stench off the soles of my shoes; and for being so close to wine country, the wine choices there were lacking to say the least. We should have realized we weren’t in God’s country when the waiter came to our table and offered two choices, a port or a muscatel. I swear, it was worse than a vineyard in Germany. They should take down the sign over the inn and replace it with ‘Boone’s Farms and Bugs Served Here Daily.’”
Hollister Co’s lawyers are reported to be rallying again, and the threat of a new lawsuit has the residents of Hollister, Calif. scrambling.
“Bedbugs or no bedbugs, a deal’s a deal,” said Mayor Victor Gomez. Hollister Co attorneys disagree.
Once again, a new lawsuit looms, this time for more than just a name change. The stakes now are high, very high, and with the sad state of the city’s budget, Hollister, Calif. may just have to close its doors forever, adding yet another ghost town to the growing list of California cities already headed down that road.
As for Hollister Co, the company is expected to come out with a new fragrance-enhanced itch reliever aptly named Epic Itch Relief. Stores will be handing out free samples in the SoHo area this coming week.
For Glossy News by Bret Bass & P. Beckert