The aggressive kiosk salespeople that badgered shoppers at West Towne Mall last year are still intimidating and harassing people walking through the mall, say some shoppers and employees who work in the mall.

A story in The Capital Times a year ago detailed the tactics of employees from It’s All About Hair. The business, which sells professional-quality hair straighteners and curling irons, is now called Love Is in the Hair.

Reached by phone, Tal Nemezar confirmed he owns the renamed kiosk, but wouldn’t speak further.

Some shoppers interviewed at West Towne Mall last week said the kiosk and some others that sell lotion make it uncomfortable to visit the mall.

“Hate it, hate it, hate it,” said Deb Ruchti, 52, of Waunakee. “Some of them are so pushy, it’s like they won’t take no for an answer.”

Jean Horvath, 36, manager of the nearby store, Build-A-Bear Workshop, said she routinely walks outside the mall to get to the food court to avoid the kiosk salespeople, who she said often accost her each way even though she is wearing her work apron. “I understand it’s their job, but they do it absent-mindedly,” she said.

West Towne Mall general manager Paul Matyas didn’t speak to a reporter who visited the mall or return a phone call.

Tiffany Bernhardt, a marketing specialist at East Towne, asked a reporter to e-mail her questions. She answered one question out of eight, writing, “at this time, we have not received complaints regarding any of our tenants at West Towne Mall.”

- Samara Kalk Derby


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