It is a yearly occurrence in my home store to see swimming pools, party tents and portable furniture fly out the door on Fridays only to magically become unwanted on Monday. It came as surprise when a peer mentioned that they deal with the same issue but with their high end apparel. The term he used was Wardrobing and it is every bit as big a problem for high end folks as our big box seasonal returns. When I asked how they deal with it he told me that Alpha Shark Tags were their best defense.
Wardrobing is the act of purchasing a high end item, like a prom dress or suit and wearing it for an event or special occasion before returning it. I was confused as to how a Merchandise Protection System(MPS) sounding item, like an Alpha Shark Tag, would help prevent this. He quickly corrected me and pointed out that the Alpha Shark Tag wasn’t MPS, it was more like RPS, a return prevention system. That’s a clever term, I should find a way to market that.
The Alpha Shark Tag is a bright visible red tag that attaches, without causing any damage, to a garment. The tag is easy to remove with a pair of scissors and once the customer purchases the item it is up to them to remove the tag. The store informs the customer at the time of purchase the items are only returnable if the red tag is intact. Brilliant!!
The system is the perfect defense against Wardrobing and it does nothing to hinder the sale. The tag is easy to see but remains sleek enough that it doesn’t affect the customer from trying on the item it protects. Once they get home if buyer’s remorse sets in or there is an issue the item is fully returnable so long as the tag is intact.
Besides clothing I can see this being applicable to some of my own concern areas. Take an air mattress. These are commonly bought and returned during camping and graduation season. If the tag could be preplaced on a bed, in the middle, somewhere you would need to remove the it to use the bed it would serve a proof of use. No red tag and no visible defect then no return. The tags may not have been specifically designed for air mattresses, but an LP can dream can’t he? Now if only I could find a way to tag the outdoor furniture and tents.
Back to Wardrobing, in particular with high end clothing, the potential profit savings is huge. Even if you resold every item that got returned after a single use you still lose profits. Imagine if an item couldn’t be resold, how much would be lost then? I wonder how many times something like a fur coat or high end dress gets returned only to find some hidden damage? Only takes a minor flaw to make the item a total loss, one that can really kill your profits.
Clearly we all want to maintain good relationships with our honest and upfront customers. No one should need to suffer from the actions of the less moral members of our cliental and the Alpha Shark Tags allow for us to strike a balance between merchant and consumer and everyone wins. It nice to see the LP world move a few more steps ahead of those who would chew up our profits and take advantage of the courtesy we extend to the honest consumer.
Need information on Alpha Shark Tags? Give us a call at 1.770.426.0547.