When you go to a store to buy underwear you expect that they are clean and new. After all, there are so many different illnesses and STDs that you could contract from used underwear right? In 2010 Today showed that certain retailers didn’t seem to care about that issue as they were found to be placing used underwear that was returned to the store right back on the racks. Major retailers such as Gap, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, and Macy’s were found to be offenders of this gross act. Now four years later the investigation continues and three more major retailers have been called out.
Walmart, Victoria’s Secret, and Marshall’s were all found to have placed used underwear that was returned back on the racks for resale. The team of investigators would take used underwear back into the store while wearing hidden cameras. They had removed all of the tags and put black dots on the labels so that they could track the pieces. They returned the underwear to the stores and recorded what it was that they did with it once it was returned. Of the stores that had gotten caught previously, most did not put the underwear back out on the shelves. However the three previously mentioned retailers simply stuck tags back on them and threw them back up on the rack. The Walmart employee that completed the return had even asked if the underwear had been worn or not but they were still put back on the rack anyway.
After it was brought to light that the employees at these retailers were doing this the retailers all released statements on the issue. Victoria’s Secret stated that they were taking these incidents very seriously as it was a severe violation of their policies. Walmart said that they had policies in place against this type of thing and would be re-educating their employees on those policies. Marshall’s stated that generally the merchandise that appeared to be worn was not supposed to be taken back for return in the first place. While these may just be a few isolated incidents from careless employees it is still a good reminder to make sure that you wash any garment that you buy from a store at least twice in hot water before wearing!