You've seen the man protesting at the Mall at Barnes Crossing if you've been shopping there this month.
He's on the grass in front of Red Lobster, which is at the corner of Barnes Crossing Road and Mall Drive.
He is holding several signs, including:
"Mall can't stop Abercrombie & Fitch toxic spraying -- Please help!!!"
We visited with the protester, Peter Grove, and his wife, Linda Grove, today. Here's what they said:
They have a business called Distinctive Gifts, which sells handpainted glass gift items and hummingbird feeders.
They planned to sell their items at a center-aisle kiosk in the mall in November and December.
Their kiosk was in front of Abercrombie & Fitch. Linda Grove said the cologne A&F sprays in the store made her sick and irritated her respiratory system.
The Groves said the mall wouldn't stop A&F from spraying the cologne in the store.
At the end of November, mall officials offered to move the Groves' kiosk to another location. The Groves' declined the offer for various reasons.
Now, Peter Grove said he is protesting to educate shoppers about the cologne situation.
And, Linda Grove is better now.
Peter Grove has a demonstration permit from the Tupelo Police Department that expires Dec. 24. He said he plans to be there every day until then from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
We talked with mall officials today. Here's what they said:
"A mall has many smells from pizzas, hamburgers, fragrances, soaps, colognes and cookies. A mall smells like their products."
They confirmed that the Groves were temporary tenants for November and December.
They declined to comment further about the situation.
We dropped in A&F as well, where management directed us to their corporate office for an official comment. The corporate offices were closed when we got back to the office.
But here's what we found on A&F's facebook page:
Abercrombie & Fitch’s iconic fragrance, Fierce, is an important part of our in-store experience and something our fans around the world love us for.
Each A&F cosmetic product, including Fierce, is carefully formulated, tested, labeled, and monitored to assure a high level of regulatory compliance and safety. The oil chemicals are selected to assure safety and fully comply with the International Fragrance Research Association.
The other raw materials used in our cosmetic formulations meet or exceed all applicable global regulations governing their use.
In accordance with virtually all global regulatory systems, A&F aggregates all individual fragrance components under the approved INCI Name "Fragrance (Parfum)". This practice is used by virtually all companies in our industry.
With respect to the US and Canadian markets, A&F actually exceeds local requirements by including more allergens than is required, thus providing pre-sensitized individuals valuable information to assist them in product selection.
To confirm safety, each approved A&F cosmetic formulation must pass rigorous clinical safety tests performed by a qualified third-party clinical testing laboratory. In addition, through ongoing analysis of customer feedback to our Customer Service Department, A&F closely monitors the incidence and frequency of adverse consumer reactions to our cosmetic products.
In the very unlikely event of a serious product safety issue, A&F has procedures in place for the rapid and complete recall of all affected products.
A&F has significantly reduced the frequency of hand spritzing that associates do in the stores. Instead we use scenting machines which provide a more uniform distribution of fragrance. The machines emit a water-based, safe fragrance that complies with local, state and federal laws.
The formulation contains no harmful volatile organic compounds or any chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or any other reproductive harm. The scenting formulation is also without Air Contaminants as defined by the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Act.
Therefore, based on available information, we firmly believe that the use of this scenting program poses no threat to the health of our associates or customers who are in the store.