Some retailers' surprising practice of destroying unworn or unsold clothing tends to outrage customers, obviously. Even if merchandise did look worn when it was returned, and retailers didn't want to put it back on sales racks, why not donate it to charity still? H&M began taking extra measures to ensure unsold merchandise went to charity after the Times learned it was being destroyed and thrown away, creating a bit of a public-relations nightmare for the chain. Victoria's Secret may have to do the same, now that its company policy of destroying all returned, perfectly fine merchandise has made national news.
A regular Victoria's Secret shopper, Marie Wolf brought an unworn pair of "Pink" brand sweatpants back to the store at Westshore Plaza a few weeks ago, and planned to buy something else.
The clerk happily gave her a refund, then took a pair of scissors and started cutting the pants in half.
"I was shocked, because, mind you, these were $70 sweatpants, and there's nothing wrong with them," Wolf said. "The clerk just said, 'I know, but it's our policy.'"
Outraged, Wolf confronted a store manager, then called the parent company and found, indeed, Victoria's Secret does cut up some returned items so they can't be resold â€“ even if they're in fine condition.
Apparently, the clerk's only mistake, Wolf said, was to cut up the clothes in front of customers, and not in a back room out of sight.
Victoria's Secret didn't comment for this story, but store clerks also made the mistake of telling the reporter that destroying returned merchandise was company policy. Jezebel wonders if this policy came in response to the Today show's undercover sting last year, in which they caught Victoria's Secret employees putting merchandise that had been made to look worn (i.e. panties with baby-oil-stained crotches) back on the racks.