What was supposed to be a normal shopping day ended in a severe injury accident, and contempt by ZARA!
ZARA, the globally renowned clothing brand and known address for fashion seekers, revealed a much darker side of their “corporate ethics”, in response to one shopper’s injury in one of their stores in Egypt.
The incident happened two weeks ago, when Maha Fouad, paid a regular visit to ZARA store in Maadi City Center, Carrefour, Cairo. Maha, an Egyptian marketing professional, and a regular ZARA customer, who “was” supposed to get married this month, visit ZARA store in Maadi, on Friday 26 August 2011, to pick up an outfit for an upcoming friend’s engagement.
Like any normal visit, Maha went to the store with a friend, and there, they picked their garments of choice and headed to try them at the fitting rooms, unaware and un warned of any hazard, minutes later, screams were heard from the Maha’s fitting room, and she rushed out of the fitting room -half dressed- with a bloodied hand.
Immediately, chaos ensued in the store! Surprisingly, the store management were clueless as to how to act in an emergency like this one, and to make things worse, the store didn’t even have a First aid kit, which is against laws and regulations. Luckily there was a pharmacy in the mall, there, Maha was treated primarily, while her friend called Maha’s fiancé & family to come to the store.
Inspection of the store revealed that the injury occurred from the mirror of the fitting room, which was broken vertically all across! The store manager (Mr. Mamdouh Shawky) admitted that the mirror was broken on the morning of the same day, yet offered no explanation as to why the fitting room did not have any notifications on the door or on the mirror to warn of possible injury!
Commenting on why he didn’t close the fitting room altogether, he answered with an aggravating and unprofessional answer, he said: “it was not obvious that it could cause injuries, and we closed it after Maha was injured”!
The mirror remains broken to date, and the fitting room closed.
Seeking to calm Maha’s fiancé down when he arrived to the store, the store manager offered to make a 35% deduction on Maha’s purchases that day!!!
Later, Maha was transferred to the hospital by her fiancé, where she her the wound was medically checked, the medical team found 3 deep cuts in the left forehand. The injury required 6 stitches in the fore hand, and medical follow up for a period of time that extended to over 21 days. The surgical MD who performed the stitching informed Maha that the injury will leave permanent scars on her forehand.
This had a tragic effect, on Maha because her wedding was scheduled for this month, not to mention that she will have to undergo aesthetic surgery, to hide the scars in her left hand.
Later contacts with Azadea’s management offered an even more incompetent reason as to why the fitting room was not closed, they claimed it was because they imported their mirror’s from ZARA’s mother company in Spain!
This accident and the way of handling it proves outstanding level of carelessness and unprofessional conduct on behalf of ZARA store management team, unworthy of an esteemed global brand. Not to mention that this accident proved their total lack of consideration for their clients’ safety and well-being, because this accident is not an unwarranted, spontaneous one, no, it is a result of intentional carelessness and negligence, and it could have resulted in a much worse injury to Maha, or worse to a minor who could be using their fitting room.
Of course if this accident had occurred anywhere else in the world, the store would have had first aid kits, Maha would have received professional medical care on the spot, the store manager would have gotten fired, ZARA would have paid all medical fees of Maha’s treatment, and Maha would have been compensated heavily for her injury! None of which have occurred, because the injury took place in EGYPT!
And although Maha did file a police report and intend to take ZARA’s management to court, no response or apology have been offered from ZARA, Inditex (ZARA brand owner) or Azadea (ZARA Middle East retailer).