One in six women admit to ‘wardrobing’ and one in ten admit to committing the offense regularly, according to research.
The crafty practice, which takes advantage of retailers’ flexible returns policies, involves people wearing garments for a time and then returning it for a full refund.
The research comes from Vouchercodes.co.uk, and verifies separate research from desktop counter fraud firm, VFM Services, found that 1 in 10 (5 million) UK adults have admitted to committing a form of return fraud.
The findings also found that 1 in 20 adults admitted to deliberately damaging an item so that they could get a refund or exchange and the same number admitting to falsely claiming that an item hadn’t been delivered in order to get a refund, or replacement.
US department store Bloomingdale’s recently attached a ‘B-tag’ to all dresses over $150 in a bid to deter shoppers from wardrobing expensive items and has also done the same with it’s e-commerce channel.
Sally Griffiths, Director VFM Services, comments: “Retailers know that fraud in the industry is a huge problem, and ranges from offences such as ‘wardrobing’, to fraudulently obtaining (and subsequently spending on) a store card. On their own, the amount of money claimed from a retailer may seem insignificant but the frequency is steadily rising, costing the industry an estimated £3.4 billion in 2012.
“Retailers can and should increase their efforts to stamp out this problem. There are effective counter fraud methods that can be put in place.”