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Peek-a-boo: Some Fitting-Room Doors Can Leave You Exposed

Not all fitting-room doors provide privacy. (CBS)

Not all fitting-room doors provide privacy. (CBS)

Mary Kay Kleist Mary Kay Kleist
Mary Kay Kleist is a meteorologist for CBS 2 Chicago. Kleist joined...
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CHICAGO (CBS) — You’re heading to a dressing room to try on clothes.  You usually pay a lot of attention to what you see in the mirror, but maybe you should be focusing more on the door.

CBS 2’s Mary Kay Kleist explains why.

When you enter a fitting room, you assume no one can see you.  But in some Chicago area stores, they sure can, because the slats on the door face inward.

Shopper Kim Kubiak allowed CBS 2 to videotape her at Ann Taylor in Naperville. She could be seen from outside.

“You know, I had noticed that in another store previously and thought it was a little strange,” Kubiak said.

CBS 2 noticed the same type of door at a number of stores, including another Ann Taylor in Skokie;  Ann Taylor Loft in the Loop and Oak Brook;  Saks Fifth Avenue on the Magnificent Mile; Lord & Taylor in both Oak Brook and Skokie and at Bloomingdale’s in Skokie. 

Reactions from the stores varied.

Saks flatly said: “It is our policy not to comment on loss-prevention policies.”

Ann Inc., the parent company of Ann Taylor and Loft stores, says their doors are not a loss-prevention measure and would be corrected if not installed correctly.

At one Bloomingdales, a sign alerts customers that the fitting room is being monitored and is not private.

“I’m gonna be a little scared.  Anyone could walk by you with a camera, a flip phone, or an iPhone or whatever,” shopper Alyssa McMahon said.

Privacy-rights attorney Charles Lee Mudd agrees. 

“Certainly there’s a problem with individuals being able to videotape through a phone. That could be posted on the internet within 5 minutes,” he said.

Bloomingdales said the retail chain strives to make customers feel safe and secure. They are changing some changing-room doors to limit visibility into their fitting rooms.

Mudd says if you feel uncomfortable about the doors, report it immediately to the store. 

“I would hope that it may be just simply a mistake,” he says.

Macy’s says fitting-room doors can vary widely at stores around the country.  The company says it’s in the process of changing some doors so that they all have outward-facing slats.  

When CBS 2 went inside two fitting rooms on State Street, it appeared the doors had been changed.

Lord &Taylor did not return phone calls.