Here Is Your Open Thread

A 3-inch chunk of black plastic is the hottest new accessory at Bloomingdale’s.

The tags, fixed to high-fashion garments in highly visible places, are the department store’s new strategy to keep crafty shoppers from buying clothes, wearing them, and then returning them. Once buyers remove the tags, Bloomingdale’s, a unit of Macy’s, won’t take back the garments.

I know that buying clothes to wear for a date or some other kind of outing and then returning them the next day is a thing that happens, but I don’t know anyone who has actually done this. But that act, known in the apparel business as “wardrobing,” has become such a problem that Bloomingdale’s has taken additional steps to prevent shoppers from doing it. Other retailers are just shrugging it off. A spokesperson for Nordstrom said that they’re keeping their tags discreet: “Our experience is that if you treat the customer with respect, they respect you back.”

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