Holt Renfrew lays off beloved doorman, upsets Twitterati
Holt Renfrew is about to lose one of its hospitality trademarks: its doorman. Tom Hargitai has held the same position, and many a door, at the store’s Yorkville location for the past 21 years. Hailing originally from Montreal, Hargitai is 57, knows regulars by name and has witnessed generations of customers walk through Holts’s front entrance. Hargitai’s dismissal is apparently not for performance reasons (anyone who’s seen him in action know he’s a natural), but he worries that Holts just wants him to disappear. “Maybe I’m too old,” Hargitai told the Toronto Star. “I’m saddened by it. I love my job.”
Since the revolution will no longer be televised, it makes sense for angered denizens to take to Twitter in an effort to show how much they loved the man who held the door open or shared an anecdote. Mosha Lundström Halbert refers to Hargitai as an “institution,” while Shinan Govani succinctly notes “Era. End.”
Hargitai admits that his position as doorman is more than just a job for him. “I’m like a bartender. I’ve sat down and listened to people over coffee when they wanted to talk. I’ve walked the extra mile for my customers. People bring me cakes and cookies, they give me wine and chocolates at Christmas,” Hargitai told the Star.
We’re sad to see the Mayor of Bloor Street go, but if a lineup should form, we recommend pulling first, and, if that fails, push.
• After 21 years, door closes on Holt Renfrew’s popular doorman [Toronto Star]
11 thoughts on “Holt Renfrew lays off beloved doorman, upsets Twitterati”
Thanks for the article, Mishki. Who are you to poke at people higher than you?
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It’s a bloody shame. And the new concierges don’t seem modern at all – sporting old-fashioned garb reminiscent of flight attendants. Maybe it’s just me, but I never found that Holts in-store customer service was lacking. Perhaps they’re planning to reduce the number of sales associates? Perhaps soon there will be an aisle to ring up your own purchases ala Canadian Tire?
Did you know that the concierge at Holt’s makes $35,000 a year? Sad, really. And letting go of an institution like Tom Hargitai is a real shame. No wonder I stopped shopping there. I can find all the same things in stores along Bloor, Queen and in Yorkville.
they are laying him off because Holts is and has been suffering financially for a while now. everything seems like it’s “normal” on the outside, but they have major financial issues going on. I know from an insider at Holts.
i’m sure the doorman will be fine. his service will be missed.
So sad to hear of this. Tom has brightened many a dull day by his friendly smile
and cheerful countenance. I will miss his presence on Bloor Street.
Personally, I won’t miss the doorman. In fact, I won’t have to make a detour east or west to alternate doors anymore. I always found his pretend familiarity and hand clasping distinctly uncomfortable.
I always found his hugs and kissing annoying and extremely inappropriate and also had to make a detour and avoid him.
agree with birkingurl
I’m a bit confused. With the view of upgrading their brand, Holts thinks a doorman is no longer part of its “look”? What genius came to that conclusion? I have always loved the tradition of having someone to greet you as you enter a hotel, a restaurant or a shop. It humanizes and personalizes an otherwise cold and anonymous experience where you enter, spend your money and leave with a product. I have always enjoyed the fact that this tradition is still alive and well in Europe.
I have lived in the Bloor and Yonge neighbourhood for 20 years and have been a frequent shopper at Holts. In all that time, Tom has been a constant friendly face, always courteous, has brightened many a dull day for me and has always been an asset to the store. What a mean spirited and offensive way to save a few dollars. And what demographic does Holts think they are appealing to?? This is a ridiculous act on the part of a business that claims to pride customer service, and a shabby way to treat this employee.
This does not seem a savy move. He was the first and last person you saw, NO MATTER what happened in between he made your day bright and you were thankful he was there. Tom is a much a signature of Holts as its name. Very poor decision!
I can’t believe Tom is gone. He’s been such a fixture for so long and gave one such a great welcome stepping into the Store. There certainly are greater places in Toronto and I hope he finds one who appreciates him.
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