Buying a dress for a special event and then returning it the next day may make for some laughs on sit-coms but, in the real world, wardrobing, as it is called, cost retailers nearly $9 billion last year. The number alone makes it clear why merchants would like to put an end to the practice. Bloomingdale's thinks it might have the answer.
The chain is making use of three-inch plastic tags that attach to garments in visible places — the kind that members of a wedding party would be sure to notice. The tags cannot be reattached once removed. If the garment comes back without the tag, Bloomie's can refuse the return.
So there is no misunderstanding, Bloomie's is publicizing the new policy in stores and online. According to Racked, the policy on the company website reads, "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."
According to Bloomberg News, some customers have taken to social media to complain about the policy.
Marie Driscoll, founder of Driscoll Advisors, doesn't think Bloomie's should worry about it.
"They are going to alienate customers that abuse the policy," she told Bloomberg, "and I don't think that is so bad."
How likely are Bloomingdale's new plastic tags to put an end to wardrobing activity at the chain?