Second Abercrombie store in NY hit by bedbugs

SAN FRANCISCO Fri Jul 2, 2010 2:51pm EDT

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Teen apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch said on Friday it will temporarily close a second store in New York due to an infestation of bedbugs, even as it sets to reopen the first one.

The company also pressed for New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to help solve what it called a "growing infestation of bedbugs in New York City."

"There is a real revenue loss involved in our decision but we felt closing was in the best interest of our customers and associates," the company wrote in a letter to the mayor.

Cinex lectularius, or bedbugs, are nocturnal creatures that feed on blood. They can be found in mattresses, bed frames, carpeting, wall crevices and other dark spaces.

A spokeswoman for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Susan Craig, said her agency had offered guidance to Abercrombie.

"The business is responding in the right way by acting proactively and addressing the problem," said Craig.

Abercrombie, which sells casual apparel to teens and is known for its skin-baring advertising, said it was temporarily closing its namesake store at the South Street Seaport in Manhattan.

On Thursday, Abercrombie said it had temporarily shuttered its Hollister store, which sells surf-inspired apparel, in the tony Soho area of Manhattan, due to bedbugs.

That store will now reopen on Saturday, the company said, after the successful elimination of the problem.

The flagship Fifth Avenue Abercrombie & Fitch store is unaffected, Abercrombie said.

Abercrombie & Fitch would not comment specifically on how the closings would affect sales and profits.

Shares of Abercrombie fell 2 percent to $31.26 on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Alexandria Sage)

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