Netroya B, who works at the store’s Oculus outlet at the World Trade Centre in Manhattan, said that the company was not doing enough to fix the problem.
The employee shared images of brown bugs, most likely lice, on a rack of half a dozen hoodies. “Today a customer discovered lice on a rack of hoodies,” she wrote on Twitter.
“They’re not closing the store nor are they notifying employees of the problem. The section was just blocked off.”
Her tweet then went viral forcing the store to temporarily shut down out of an “abundance of caution”.
“We take customer and employee safety extremely seriously. Out of an abundance of caution we closed the H&M store at Westfield World Trade Centre in order to investigate fully,” the company said in a statement.
“A customer pointed the hoodies out to me and I informed my manager, who then informed my store manager. As a quick solution, they blocked off the section to await further instructions from someone higher. We thought they would tell us to close but that wasn’t the directions given,” Netroya B told Newsweek.
Netroya added that it was the first time she had seen something like this at the store where she has worked for five-and-a-half years.
When a Twitter user commented that they got some sweats delivered that day, she urged them to “wash them”, adding that the “warehouse isn’t too clean either”.
She was praised on social media for standing up to the clothing retailer and calling them out on the lack of hygiene.
“Good for you for calling out H&M! They should know better to staying open with that nonsense,” wrote Twitter user Dan.
She told those who were concerned about her losing her job that Friday was her last working day there. “I’m resigning because I hate it there,” she said.