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Staff bra sizes on display at Swedish lingerie shop

Staff bra sizes on display at Swedish lingerie shop

Published: 01 Nov 2011 10:33 GMT+01:00
Updated: 01 Nov 2011 10:33 GMT+01:00

The Swedish branch of a Scandinavian lingerie chain is under fire after making employees wear name tags displaying both their bust circumferences and cup sizes.

”We have dirty old men coming into the shop looking at my cup size. Why should everyone get to know that? Guys selling underwear don't have to show their size,” one anonymous employee told union paper Handelsnytt earlier this year.

Another former employee told Sveriges Radio (SR) that she was first told about the tags on her first day working for lingerie chain Change. The aim, she was told, was to display the shop's broad range of sizes.

”I thought it seemed really weird, but I wanted the job as well,” she told SR.

The tags were first introduced three years ago. They display both the wearer's bust circumference and cup size.

Susann Haglund, CEO of Change, told Handelsnytt in January that the tags had been suggested by the employees themselves.

According to Haglund, they are there to aid customers in their choice by showing them what size might be right for what body shape.

”I don't get why this would be seen as demeaning in any way. I am sure there are those that feel that way, but it is completely voluntary to wear a name tag with your cup size,” she said SR.

However, this is not the impression the former employee had when she worked there.

”When you start you get receive a document which states that 'name tag with size is always worn', so to me that doesn't reflect that it was voluntary. It isn't great when you're out on town and people greet you with your name and cup size. It feels sort of private,” she said to SR.

After working for the company for a year and a half, she decided she'd had enough. She read up on her rights and contacted the Commercial Employees' Union (Handelsanställdas förbund - Handels).

The union say that the tags are a clear case of discrimination and have been trying to negotiate with the company to have the tags removed.

”It is completely demeaning,” Jaana Pålsson of the union said to SR.

According to Pålsson the tags are discriminatory, their use breaks the union's collective agreement, and could be in breach of Swedish law.

The union is now planning to sue the company after negotiations have finally broken down.

The company still refuses to remove the tags, claiming to have done nothing wrong.

Haglund remains adamant that staff wear the tags willingly.

”It doesn't say anywhere that you have to wear them and it was a very old document that she [the former employee] cited. There's nothing like that any more,” Haglund said, reports newspaper Metro.

However, the employee that Handelsnytt spoke to told a different story.

”We have never been told we can remove them. We have mystery shoppers here, and if we don't wear our tags with name and size it gives us loads of demerits.”

The Local/rm (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:50 November 1, 2011 by GLO
You have to be kidddding... I can see with my own eyes how big or small they are. She should stay at home and let another take her plsace. The owner should set the conditions of work. Big brother again......
12:15 November 1, 2011 by John.Smith
It doesn't breach any employment law I know. However, I think it also reasonable that if a member of staff refuses to wear a boobie-badge that this should be respected.
12:15 November 1, 2011 by Rap43
Wonder what they do with male employees... oh, wait, do they have any male employees?

No, I suppose not... just another case of 'acceptable' discrimination.

What a person's bra size might have to do with their ability to do the job escapes me... Generally speaking, it is only men who would care.

Foolishness.
12:30 November 1, 2011 by yourkidding
Whats wrong with that? I don't know. Maybe Jack Jones or another Swedish mens store that sells mens underwear should have their male employees have nametags with their names, penis length and circumference. Great idea. I have no problem telling mine, if the ladies have to be asked to display their boob size.

Just to say also, really great to see the Locals daily picture of boobs in some form or other again. I was wondering what happened yesterday when there was none. Didn't any big breasted girls go out last weekend? Where is the sidewinder photo of those semi bare chested babes in the gallery? Its so great to read the news and have a little lite porn at the same time.
12:30 November 1, 2011 by skogsbo
it's a funny idea, as fella wants to buy some kit for his lassie and he can say he needs a bra bigger than her, smaller than those - perfect !! However any guy should be able to guage roughly a girls size.

I think it's a bit of boobism going on where those 32a girls with padded bras are feeling targetted?!
12:55 November 1, 2011 by McChatter
Who determines the information on these boob-badges and shouldn't there be an annual control of the boob sizes? Is there a job going begging here? LOL
13:12 November 1, 2011 by Bones
I've been shopping for something special for the Mrs and the sales girl asked me "are they similar to mine or more like hers" when I wasn't sure of the size needed. Seems like a perfectly good idea to me...
13:35 November 1, 2011 by missjane30
Okay would the employees have to wear a tag with their real size, or the size they are after putting on the "bombshell" bra, because then they could open themselves up to lawsuits about false advertising, and it could get messy?

I ask myself this false advertising question a lot...for example when I start dating somebody, do I leave the pushup bra at home so that they know in advance I'm small chested, and then it's not a surprise when they actually see them for the first time? Like "OMG her tits just ended up on the floor, how did that happen?"
14:25 November 1, 2011 by Mack
"I ask myself this false advertising question a lot...for example when I start dating somebody, do I leave the pushup bra at home so that they know in advance I'm small chested, and then it's not a surprise when they actually see them for the first time? Like "OMG her tits just ended up on the floor, how did that happen?""

Thank-you for this... it was my morning laugh. Anyone that can laugh at themselves is good by me.
14:42 November 1, 2011 by Svensksmith
Forget the boob badge, I'd rather they just display their boobs.
15:57 November 1, 2011 by Grokh
and people get amazed when a 7 year old girl skinny girl thinks shes fat -_-
16:29 November 1, 2011 by Global1
Without badges: "Hey... [looking at her breast]... Anna. I am going to buy a present for my girlfriend and she is about your size. What size of bra do you use? Do you have some models without filling?".

With the badges: "Hey.. [looking at her breast AND reading her size]... Anna. I am going to buy a preset for my girlfriend, and would like to find a bra without filling".

I really don't see any problem either way. It is a lingerie store, clients are going to ask about underwear sizes, and especially male customers would need some model to get an idea. I call it a #firstworldproblem.
17:17 November 1, 2011 by colombianska_tjej
I think there is nothing wrong on it. Usually men have no idea of the size of his gf/wife/mistress/whatever bra, so they usually say: "she is like you, but a little bit more ___". So i think the badges make it a little bit easier for them.

And if the worker don't want to use it, then she should refuse without any problem. I think they're making too much noise about nothing.
17:43 November 1, 2011 by skogsbo
if a guy was selling cars, he would say I have one of those etc. he would refer to his own experience and likes / dislike, sounds the same here, except it's their body. It's a quirky idea, that has gained them loads of free PR, which was probably the goal in the first place. They will now be over run with guys buying kit for their lassies before Xmas. Good marketing by the company I think, nothing else in it.
18:26 November 1, 2011 by calebian22
"We have dirty old men coming into the shop looking at my cup size." Whoa, Whoa, Whoa! I am not old.
19:14 November 1, 2011 by yourkidding
Still wondering if the other MEN posting here would WEAR A TAG stating their names along with the LENGTH and CIRCUMFERENCE of their PENISES?

If someones wife or partner wanted some briefs and said that their guys bulge was about the same size when needing to buy briefs or condoms. Sounds fair if we guys have the same deal.
21:01 November 1, 2011 by Svensksmith
I would wear such a badge with pride.
21:20 November 1, 2011 by calebian22
No problem, @yourkidding. Guys like their best buddy to get lots of attention, no matter the size.
21:46 November 1, 2011 by Soft Boiled
Its a good idea only if you are comfortable with it. If you don´t want it then you shouldnt have to wear the badge..give people the choice, everyone is an individual or so Im told.
02:50 November 2, 2011 by J Jack
Shouldn't they display their panti size too? ..or is that confusing?
20:13 November 2, 2011 by swedejane
They should wear name tags with the number of sexual partners they've had as well...
22:39 November 2, 2011 by wxman
The young lady in the photo has the nicest looking pillows! I'm ready for my nap.
03:19 November 3, 2011 by yourkidding
@ wxman

Yah, the Local is never short of a few huge pairs of boobies displayed here and there. LOL Someone on staff is a Hugh Hefner wannabee ;-)
10:19 November 4, 2011 by Da Goat
ah just another storm in a C cup!

D cup runneth over such great reporting!
16:22 November 4, 2011 by futureishere
"We have dirty old men coming into the shop looking at my cup size." I guess she wouldn't mind if young and handsome were ogling at her goodies!
14:10 November 6, 2011 by yourkidding
@ #25

Just do what I saw a girl do on Tv. Say---Hello I am up here, my boobs can't talk.
14:09 November 8, 2011 by tadchem
Did anybody tell them they couldn't lie?

Most women (my wife included) don't really know their bra sizes anyway. They usually end up with something that is one or two cup sizes too small and one or two chest sizes too large.
09:12 November 12, 2011 by Decedo
so where is this store, I haven't found it in Gothenburg yet :)
02:40 November 14, 2011 by yourkidding
Did you ever notice how long a picture of boobs stays on the Local? ;-)
15:21 April 1, 2012 by mrwonderful
I "feel" the Tags got to go. When buying a clothing gift for the Mrs I prefer to verify with the Salesgirl the size "by hand".
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