Have you ever been walking the sales floor of your store and come across an article of clothing that looks vaguely familiar? It might look like a faded, worn out, shrunken version of something that you sell. But this isn’t for sale, right? This better be going to the lost and found! But sadly, it has a merchandise tag on it. Who in their right mind would buy this item at full price? Furthermore, how did it get onto your sales floor in this condition? Sounds like you’ve been wardrobed. There are a few good tools along with some very helpful best practices that can be used to prevent this from happening to you, to keep your store and your brand up to its best reputation, and to maintain your best profitability while keeping wardrobing out of your store.
One good first line of defense is an anti-wardrobing tag. Checkpoint offers a security device called the Alpha Shark Tag. Alpha Shark Tags easily attach to any clothing item with a small pin. The device is designed for removal at home before wearing, so this device is not removed by the salesperson at the point of sale. Basically, if an item is returned with the Shark Tag missing, it can be assumed to have been worn. To make the most effective use of these tags, they should be placed in a conspicuous area so that if a wardrober would have a difficult time wearing the item with the tag in place. However, the Alpha Shark Tags are of little use without an effective return policy.
Having a customer-friendly return policy that your employees and business can stand behind is very important for implementing clothing security and profitability. Without a policy in place, the usefulness of the Shark Tags diminishes. For example, if there is no return policy in place requiring Shark Tags to be on return items that are required to have them, then they make no difference to wardrobers; they would be able to remove them and return them without the tags anyway! In addition, it is typically a good idea to have a certain window within which the item may be returned. This will not only prevent people from using clothing for a period of time and then returning it, but it will also keep you from getting outdated fashions coming back into the store—items that you won’t be able to make a dime off of. Finally, a good policy typically includes regulations against washed and worn items. If the items appear faded, stained, or smell like laundry detergent, it is usually in your business’s best interest not to allow a return.
The last, but certainly not least most important action to prevent wardrobing is abiding by the return policy. Many big-box retail stores have sound refund and return policies that are implemented inconsistently. The difference is, these big-box stores can typically afford to return a few items here and there that cannot be resold. Likewise, consistent communication to thousands of employees is far more difficult. To protect your business, it is important to implement a policy that can be executed nearly 100% of the time. Sure, there will always be exceptions but a return policy is only as good as the employees who enforce it. It would be wise to ensure everyone is on the same page with refunds. That goes for both employees and customers!
For more information contact us: Wardrobing or call 1.770.426.0547