Victoria’s Secret is the top underwear seller in the world.
The company controls a whopping 35% of the lingerie market — a remarkable feat for a specialty retail brand.
A Victoria’s Secret manager did a Reddit Ask Me Anything about what happens to returned merchandise.
“Every returned pair of panties have to get damaged out, regardless of whether the tags are still on them or not,” the 22-year-old woman wrote on the website. “Then we shred them and throw them out after.”
Back in 2011, a customer saw the shredding first-hand. Victoria’s Secret workers are apparently not supposed to do it in front of their customers.
“We’re sure a small part of it may be that some store simply don’t believe you didn’t wear that dress that smelled more like your perfume than the store when you returned it, but an even larger part of it is brand protection,” wrote Styleite’s Justin Fenner.
It’s not just Victoria’s Secret though. Don’t assume that a product just goes back on the shelf after you return it — at any retailer.
“By the time it’s been sent back to distribution, repackaged, if it’s in a condition for sale, it could have been discontinued or discounted,” Clear Returns CEO Vicky Brock told Bloomberg Businessweek. “In some cases, it will just get shredded.”
As for the Victoria’s Secret panties, the manager’s account might come as a relief to customers. After all, you just don’t know if someone had put them on — tags or not.
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