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IN FRATERNAM MEAM
Friday, June 24, 2005
PARIS STORE'S HARD LESSON: DON'T MESS WITH OPRAH (WINFREY)
Something tells me a couple of staff members at the Hermes store in Paris may be looking for a new job -- after snubbing Oprah Winfrey last week. The luxury store has issued a public apology to the queen of TV for turning her away from Hermes' flagship store.

In a statement issued Wednesday, a Hermes' spokesman said the store regretted "not having been able to accomodate Ms. Winfrey and her team and to provide her with the service and care that Hermes' strive to provide to each every one of its customers worldwide. Hermes' apologizes for any offense taken due to such circumstances."

The spokewoman explained that Winfrey arrived at the store about 6"45pm June 14 -- around 15 minutes after closing,a nd her visit was further complicated by a private "PR event (being) set up inside" the store at the time.

Hermes' denies a New York daily News report that Winfrey was turned away because the Paris store had been "having a problem with North Africans lately". The store's spokewoam told CNN, "There was never any discussion of North Africans. The story is not true."

However, a spokeswoman for Winfrey disputes that claim and said, "The Daily News story is accurate, and Oprah will tell teh whole story on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" when she returns to the air in September."

Apparently the entire incident was capture on the store's security cameras, which led to Hermes' issuing its apology.

Not only is Winfrey widely regarded as the most powerful woman in the entertainment business -- a status she recently reinforced by topping Forbes magazine list -- she also has long been an extremely good customer of Hermes brand.

The store's North American president Robert Chavez has invited Winfrey to return to Hermes and give the retailer another chance, but her reaction is unknown. Chavez reportedly personally apologized to Winfrey in a phone call following the incident.

(abstracted from GLARE: Celebrity News and Gossip by Bill Zwecker/ email: bzwecker@suntimes.com)
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:57 AM  
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Name: infraternam meam
Home: Chicago, United States
About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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