Does your business allow the employees to borrow money from the cash register? I can only imagine that would be a huge gross violation of policy. So why would you ever allow your customers to borrow your merchandise? This is a practice most retailers refer to as wardrobing, and it is a very costly problem. In a recent survey, 65% of clothing retailers report returns of used inventory. t’s not just that the store takes back the garment and gives the customer their money back as part of an even exchange. Due to sweat stains, inadvertent marks from wear, crumbs, and even odors, the store generally cannot resell items they take back. That means they lose the money they invested in the inventory plus the profit they would have made from the sale. Wardrobing also means that desirable sizes and colors are not available for honest customers. What most people don’t realize is that wardrobing is not just an innocent inconvenience; it is return fraud. Bottom line-it is also a form of shoplifting.
Some retailers have begun instituting new policies and using devices to help put a stop to customers that engage in this practice. The device many stores prefer are Alpha Shark Tags. These are simple, yet effective, tools that managers and owners of clothing stores are using to battle wardrobing. They are small gadgets that clip to clothing and are designed to be removed at home by the customer. They have become an important part of many store’s return policy. If the device is removed, the item is no longer eligible for return. The point is to attach it to the item in a very prominent area, like the bottom front hemline, so that they discourage the customer from attempting to wear the item without removing it first. They are also bright red, so they are very obviously not a part of the outfit. Alpha Shark Tags can be attached before items are put out for display or they can be quickly put on at the point of sale. Either way, the customer can still try on the garment, so they are never meant to impede good customer service. They promote just the opposite actually; Alpha Shark Tags provide your customers with a clear understanding of your stores return policy so there’s no confusion on whether or not you will take the item back if an honest customer simply changes their mind. But they send a clear message if you have a customer that just wants to borrow a party dress, they need to go to their friend’s closet, not your store.
You see it on about every sitcom on television; lady goes to the local boutique to buy an expensive dress or shoes for a wedding with the intentions of wearing it to the event and returning the item the following day. They inevitably spill wine on themselves or bump into something and scuff up those high quality leather pumps and suddenly they’re in a panic. They attempt to clean the dress only to spread the stain or get into some other ridiculous scheme that is sure to fail. On a weekly television show, those hair brained antics are comical. In real life, it is a costly and all too regular occurrence. It’s a serious issue for clothing retailers and something has to be done to stop it. That’s why you should take a look at adding Alpha Shark Tags to your arsenal and stop this form of return fraud from stealing your profits. And I do mean stealing… not borrowing.
For more information on Alpha Shark Tags, contact us or call 1.770.426.0547 or Clothingsecurity.net