A mother and daughter say they were humiliated by security at Cape Town’s Spar in Vangate Mall after being denied access because they were wearing Huggle sweatshirts.
Shanaaz Prins, 40, of Heideveld, said she and her mother Fatima, 63, were doing their monthly shopping at the mall and made their final visit at Spar when they were greeted with a cold reception at the door.
Shanaaz explained: “We walked in and the security immediately said ‘Sorry, no pyjamas allowed’. I told her that we were not wearing pyjamas, but she insisted that we can’t enter the store while wearing our Huggle Snuggle tops.
“She told us to take it off to enter. I told her I couldn’t remove my top because I only had my bra on underneath, but she insisted that we couldn’t enter.”
The soft-spoken woman claims she went to the parcel counter to hand her bags but received the same reaction.
“I was then told to speak to the manager if I have a problem with the ‘unofficial’ policy,” she said.
“I requested this at the information counter, but was directed to a lady who didn’t even have a badge on, so I didn’t know who I was speaking to.
“I told her that we shop at the store every week and spend thousands of rands at that specific store every month.
“I told her I saw people with onesies and said I entered the store like this before, but she also told me that they can’t let us into the store with these tops because social media says it’s pyjamas,” Shanaaz added.
“I was absolutely disgusted and humiliated. I’ve been an advocate for their store for many years, but now I refuse to ever support any Spar again!”
Ashley Bodkin, the store’s senior manager, claimed he hadn’t been made aware of the incident, but added that there is no policy about pyjamas.
“I am sorry about what happened, I will also give the customer a written apology should she require it,” Bodkin explained.
“I spoke to the security and found out that she was informed by a controller from another store that no pyjamas are allowed.
“I told her that was not the case at our store, we don’t have that policy.
“If they had to call me, I would let the customer in, regardless if it is pyjamas or not.
“The only time we can refuse entry is if you disguise yourself or sign a disclosure if you were suspect in our store, but we don’t have a problem with onesies or huggles.
“I also requested for the area manager to come and see me,” Bodkin added.