A DISABLED teenager who was refused entry to a major Burnley town centre retailer has spoken of his shock.
Paraplegic Bradley Johnson, 18, who uses a wheelchair, wanted to visit the menswear department of River Island, in Charter Walk Shopping Centre, with his brother Justin.
However there is no lift to the menswear section on the first-floor and access is only available via an internal flight of stairs.
Bradley and his brother decided to try a different route and used the main lift in Charter Walk to access the walkway around the shopping precinct to try to enter the store through the first floor.
However staff refused to open the doors on health and safety grounds.
They contacted the store’s customer services department to highlight that the doors had been opened previously during warm days and to allow refurbishment work.
Bradley, from Ightenhill, told the Telegraph: “I’m bitterly disappointed about the way we were treated. It’s not a great advertisement towards their disabled customers.
“I’ve never had this problem anywhere else.”
Justin, 21, said: “We were gutted that we weren’t allowed to use the first floor doors. We are regular customers here. Bradley comes in all the time with his girlfriend, but we won’t be back. It’s their loss.”
Bosses at the store have now issued an apology.
A spokesperson said all of the store’s staff had been briefed about the situation to avoid a repeat.
The spokesman for the store added: “River Island in Burnley is sorry for the misunderstanding that arose recently regarding access for a wheelchair customer.
“We would like to invite the customer back to the store and offer a shopping voucher to try and make up for the confusion.”