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NYC Bedbug Problems Grow

Both Macy’s Herald Square flagship and Bloomingdale’s 59th Street flagship have reported bedbug sightings.

New York’s bedbug problem is spreading to more retailers.

This story first appeared in the September 28, 2010 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Macy’s Inc. is the latest to encounter the parasites. Both Macy’s Herald Square flagship and Bloomingdale’s 59th Street flagship have reported bedbug sightings.

“Within these past few months, bedbugs have increasingly become a citywide problem affecting many businesses and residences in Manhattan,” said a Macy’s Inc. spokeswoman. “Just last Friday, a bedbug was discovered at a workstation in the office tower at our Herald Square store. We identified it and immediately removed it from the premises. We have taken all necessary steps to exterminate and contain the problem. Currently, no bedbugs have been sighted or reported in the store or on other floors of the tower. We are committed to ensuring the comfort and sanitary conditions of our work sites.”

Asked if there were more than one bedbug, a Macy’s spokeswoman said, “Just one according to the exterminator.”

Bloomingdale’s last week cited bedbugs but never closed and said it quickly took care of the problem. On Friday, the store distributed a memo to employees as they entered the 59th Street flagship.

“Bedbugs are increasingly common in Manhattan and currently, the Upper East Side is experiencing an outbreak that is now affecting homes, offices and public buildings,” Bloomingdale’s said in its memo. “Recently, a bedbug was discovered in our building here at 59th Street. We identified it and removed it promptly. We conducted a thorough search of the area, including the use of dogs trained to spot bedbug locations. We are confident that we have thoroughly addressed the problem. Although bedbugs are a nuisance, they are not known to spread disease and can be controlled through proper extermination.”

Bloomingdale’s also said it will be conducting examinations and random checks of all offices and common spaces.

Other retailers recently citing bedbugs were Niketown on 57th Street, Abercrombie & Fitch in the South Street Seaport, Hollister on Houston Street and Broadway and Victoria’s Secret on Lexington Avenue and 58th Street. They were all temporarily closed and reopened after debugging.