When visiting the clearance rack at your favorite retailers, there are some things that you are willing to bargain with yourself about: a missing button can easily be replaced; a smudge of makeup on the collar can be done away with a Tide stick; a hole underneath the arm can be sewn. But used underwear is most likely not an item you are willing to bargain on, no matter how astronomical the discount might be. However, the TODAY show comes as the bearer of bad news, releasing its report that major retailers are reselling presumably used underwear and bathing suits, and the worst part is that you might be completely unaware if it has been on the bums of another lone stranger.
The rather gross news comes via a second installation of Jeff Rossen's investigative series, Rossen Reports. In 2010, the Rossen Reports team went undercover wearing hidden cameras and visiting some of our most coveted stores for lingerie purchases, such as Victoria's Secret, Nordstrom, Wal-Mart, Macy's, Bloomingdales, The Gap and Marshalls--all of which were recorded putting used underwear back on their shelves. Now, four years later, the team has gone undercover again to reveal a fragment of improvement (Macy's, Bloomingdales, The Gap and Nordstrom marked items as damaged or put them in a back room). However, other stores, perhaps those most known for specifically selling lingerie or having extremely low prices on designer lingerie, are still at fault for this dirty act.
When Rossen Reports informed retailers of its evidence in 2010, each responded stating that they would "re-educate" its employees.
However, Victoria's Secret, Marshalls and Wal-Mart might want to develop a new curriculum that is simple and plain: do not resell used undergarments. AT ALL. Rossen's 2014 investigation found that employees at these retailers were blatantly retagging returned underwear and placing them back on the racks and shelves before the day's end. And suddenly, we might have just received a fragment of a clue to our down-there mysteries.
As in 2010, each retailer in the 2014 report released a statement referencing its old, dirty ways. Victoria's Secret, Marshalls and Wal-Mart stated that they put their customers first and will basically "re-educate" once more. As for looking out for your own behind, Rossen suggests washing all underwear after purchasing and asking an employee to retrieve undergarments on display from the back to ensure its coming immediately out of its packaging onto your bum.
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