Will Target get wrapped up in fake sheet controversy?
Target has announced that it will no longer do business with Welspun, an Indian manufacturer of cotton sheets, after the retailer discovered that sheets labeled as being made with Egyptian cotton were made elsewhere.
Target, according to reports, recently discovered its Fieldcrest branded 500-thread count sheets from Welspun had been mislabeled beginning in August 2014 and running through July of this year. Aside from ending its relationship with Welspun, Target has pulled all the fake sheets from its shelves and offered customers who purchased the mislabeled sheets its apologies along with refunds.
A statement put out by Target characterized Welspun’s actions as a “violation of its Code of Conduct“ as well as “contrary to the high ethical standards to which we hold ourselves, and our vendors.” The retailer pledged to continue earning the trust of its customers and would continue to work with vendors to “meet or exceed their expectations.”
The loss of Target’s business will be a blow to Welspun, which sold $90 million in goods to the retailer in the last fiscal year. The company also supplies Bed Bath & Beyond, J.C. Penney, Walmart and other retailers in the U.S. There is no word if sheets sold to those retailers were also mislabeled although it’s likely that individual chains will be conducting their own reviews of Welspun.
- Target Statement on Welspun Global Brands – Target Corporation
- Target Supplier Welspun Falls Most in Decade After Cotton Dispute – Bloomberg
- Target Cuts Ties With Indian Textile Company – The Wall Street Journal (sub. required)
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Has Target responded appropriately after learning sheets sold to it as made with Egyptian cotton were not? Is there anything else you think the chain should do to meet or exceed the expectations of customers who purchased the mislabeled sheets?