Hollister’s flagship store in New York has fallen victim to an infestation of bedbugs, leading to its closure on Wednesday.

A spokeswoman for the company said Hollister was taking “all necessary steps” to remove the infestation from the four storey store in SoHo, although she could not say how soon the shop would be reopened or whether compensation would be available to affected customers and staff.

New York is reportedly in the grip of a bedbug pandemic, but Hollister is the first case of a store being closed due to an infestation.

The Abercrombie & Fitch-owned retailer denied claims it had been slow to react to the problem. “The first we heard of it was on Wednesday and we acted right away,” the spokesman said.