Bloomingdales Seeks an End to Wardrobing

September 19, 2013


Wardrobing” is the practice of buying an expensive clothing item, wearing it once and then returning it for full credit the next day. It’s essentially borrowing an outfit for a day at no cost. It’s typically the type of clothing that you might wear to a wedding or prom.

Though unethical, it might seem innocent enough. But it adds up. According to the National Retail Federation, the practice costs retailers upwards of $9 billion each year. Yes, that’s NINE BILLION.

Bloomingdales is one retailer that believes it has the answer to wardrobing. Store are attaching three inch removable plastic tags to noticeable places on clothing most likely to be used for wardrobing. Consumers can remove the tags once they get home, but the items cannot be removed from the store once they’re gone.

Bloomingdales in advertising its new policy in stores and online: “Please note that this dress will be delivered with a black b-tag attached, with instructions for removal included. If the b-tag is removed, the dress cannot be returned.”

Bloomingdales’ wardrobing policy is the most direct. Other retailers have taken more discrete action like placing the names of frequent wardrobers on their sales records. A return pops a red flag and a return may be denied.

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