Look. It’s not exactly the PSA we ever really planned on delivering, but for some reason, we’ve found ourselves in a position to firmly ask that pick-up artists cease and desist trying out their ‘moves’ at a popular Sydney CBD bookstore.
Kinokuniya Sydney issued an open letter at the weekend, outlining its knowledge that a dating coaching company has been encouraging its ‘students’ to hit up the store and try out pickup lines on unsuspecting female shoppers.
“We apologise to any of our customers who have been approached in the store or had the negative experience of someone trying “pick-up” techniques with them… And to anyone who has felt harassed, we offer our deepest apologies,” Kinokuniya Tweeted.
“We have contacted the company we know is involved and requested they not enter the store again.”
Kinokuniya chose not to name and shame the coaching company, however it’s understood the company had been sending hopeful daters there for some time.
Since addressing the dating dilemma, a handful of women have spoken up on social media about the encounters they’d had while shopping for a new read.
“This happened to me and I just thought it was some random moment,” wrote Hilary Locke Facebook. “I’m so glad it’s been addressed and hope it gets nipped in the bud.”
“It’s sad others have had that experience while just browsing books.”
Sydney writer, Chloe Sargeant, has since Tweeted her own appreciation for Kinokuniya’s staff after a “pickup artist” targeted her in the store around mid-January. Staff at the store reached out to see if she was okay following an uncomfortable encounter in which a male shopper started out by asking for a book recommendation.
“I’d seen him try the same thing to two different women before me. Pickup artist stuff is so grim,” she wrote.
While the bookstore says it encourages discussion and organic communications between visitors, it assures shoppers staff will be on the lookout for unwanted advances.
“To any other social coaching companies who might be considering using Kinokuniya for your clients’ practice runs, we say don’t come in,” the store says in its statement.
“Our staff and security have all been made aware that this has been happening and are on the lookout for anyone who is receiving unsolicited and unwanted attention.”