Coach called out for 'Slashing' unwanted merchandise in viral TikTok video

Coach owner Tapestry said that its fiscal third-quarter sales in North America returned to pre-pandemic levels, as demand for luxury goods rebounds from 2020 lows. Tapestry gave a stellar performance in 2021, reporting revenues reached $1.28 billion, advancing 19% from $1.07 billion same quarter last year.

How do they do so well? One reason might be increasing the demand for their products. One way retailers are doing it is by intentionally cutting their leftover merchandise despite having a solid policy towards sustainability.

Anna Sacks, a.k.a. @thetrashwalker, posted about the store policy, which caught the attention of Diet Prada. Instagram fashion watchdog picked up on the same and shared the videos on their page. They also added in their caption that Sacks called out the luxury fashion house's fraud evident on the website where there is a mention of a Coach Repair Workshop staffed by "Expert craftspeople who love your bags as much as you do. So don't ditch, repair it - it's another small thing we can do to keep our bags out of landfills and reduce our impact on the planet," the description reads.

Slashing is a common and controversial practice among luxury fashion brands where the merchandise is damaged so nobody can use it. The TikToker in her video introduces viewers to the Coach purses she purchased from another user, @dumpsterlivingmama. "As you can see, they're all slashed, which is Coach's policy. And then they write it off as a tax write-off under the same tax loopholes as if it were accidentally destroyed," she adds.

Not long after, Coach took to its Instagram feed to announce that it would discontinue this practice, effective immediately. "We have now ceased destroying in-store returns or damaged, and unsalable goods and are dedicated to maximizing such products," the statement reads along with the other changes the brand is set to make.

Going viral on Tik Tok! That's what it takes for a public company not just to be sustainable but also to be transparent?

But Coach is no exception and by far not the first brand to cut their unsold merchandise. In July 2018, Burberry brought in $3.6 billion in revenue last year — and destroyed $36.8 million worth of its merchandise.

From Louis Vuitton to Nike. Brands destroy products to maintain exclusivity through scarcity, but the precise details of who is doing it and why are not commonly publicized. Now and then, though, bits of information will trickle out. Last year, for example, a Danish TV station revealed that the fast-fashion retailer H&M had burned 60 tons of new and unsold clothes since 2013.

What are your thoughts on luxury brands slashing their merchandise?

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