View Poll Results: Is it Ok for store to destroy & trash unsold merchandise?

Voters
42. You may not vote on this poll
  • It's a smart business decision in a free market!

    7 16.67%
  • Is it any different from paying farmers not to grow food?

    3 7.14%
  • It sounds wastefull and environmentally unsound

    7 16.67%
  • It's immoral! These items could be given to the poor or sent abroad!

    15 35.71%
  • Other, please explain

    7 16.67%
  • I'm not surprised Walmart is involved. They are a tool of Satan...

    3 7.14%
Page 1 of 7 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 61

Thread: Is it Ok for store to destroy & trash unsold merchandise?

  1. #1
    Banned
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Last Seen
    11-23-11 @ 10:06 PM
    Lean
    Independent
    Posts
    3,827

    Is it Ok for store to destroy & trash unsold merchandise?

    Here's the story: H&M and Wal-Mart destroy and trash unsold goods - Fashion + Beauty on Shine

    This week the New York Times reported a disheartening story about two of the largest retail chains. You see, instead of taking unsold items to sample sales or donating them to people in need, H&M and Wal-Mart have been throwing them out in giant trash bags. And in the case that someone may stumble on these bags and try to keep or re-sell the items, these companies have gone ahead and slashed up garments, cut off the sleeves of coats, and sliced holes in shoes so they are unwearable.

    This unsettling discovery was made by graduate student Cynthia Magnus outside the back entrance of H&M on 35th street in New York City. Just a few doors down, she also found hundreds of Wal-Mart tagged items with holes made in them that were dumped by a contractor. On December 7, she spotted 20 bags of clothing outside of H&M including, "gloves with the fingers cut off, warm socks, cute patent leather Mary Jane school shoes, maybe for fourth graders, with the instep cut up with a scissor, men’s jackets, slashed across the body and the arms. The puffy fiber fill was coming out in big white cotton balls.”

    The New York Times points out that one-third of the city's population is poor, which makes this behavior not only wasteful and sad, but downright irresponsible. Wal-Mart spokeswoman, Melissa Hill, acted surprised that these items were found, claiming they typically donate all unworn merchandise to charity. When reporters went around the corner from H&M to a collections drop-off for charity organization New York Cares, spokesperson Colleen Farrell said, “We’d be glad to take unworn coats, and companies often send them to
    What do you think? Is this moral? Is this ok to do?

  2. #2
    Sage
    Khayembii Communique's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Last Seen
    Today @ 06:05 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Undisclosed
    Posts
    7,881

    Re: Is it Ok for store to destroy & trash unsold merchandise?

    This is a regular practice in a system where scarcity is inherently necessary. Once again I find myself quoting Mandel, who probably describes this contradictory phenomenon the best:

    It is in the economic crises that the contradiction between the progressive socialization of production and the private appropriation which serves as its driving power and its support, breaks out in the most extraordinary way. For capitalist economic crises are incredible phenomena like nothing ever seen before. They are not crises of scarcity, like all pre-capitalist crises; they are crises of overproduction. The unemployed die of hunger not because there is too little to eat but because there is relatively too great a supply of foodstuffs.

    At first sight the thing seems incomprehensible. How can anyone die because there is a surplus of food, because there is a surplus of goods? But the mechanism of the capitalist system makes this seeming paradox understandable. Goods which do not find buyers not only do not realize their surplus value but they do not even return their invested capital. The slump in sales therefore forces businessmen to suspend their operations. They are therefore forced to lay off their workers and since the laid-off workers have no reserves, since they can subsist only when they are selling their labor-power, unemployment obviously condemns them to the starkest poverty and precisely because the relative abundance of goods has resulted in a slump in sales.

    The factor of periodic economic crises is inherent in the capitalist system and remains insurmountable. We shall see further on that this remains equally true in the neocapitalist regime in which we are now living, even if these crises are now called “recessions.” Crises are the clearest manifestation of the fundamental contradiction in the system and a periodic reminder that it is condemned to die sooner or later.
    -Ernest Mandel
    As for whether or not it is moral, I don't really feel like addressing that question aside from the fact that what you are really asking in your question is whether or not capitalism itself is moral or immoral, and not simply the actions of a few firms.
    "I do not claim that every incident in the history of empire can be explained in directly economic terms. Economic interests are filtered through a political process, policies are implemented by a complex state apparatus, and the whole system generates its own momentum."

  3. #3
    Sage
    Ikari's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Colorado
    Last Seen
    12-08-17 @ 01:05 AM
    Gender
    Lean
    Libertarian - Left
    Posts
    54,124

    Re: Is it Ok for store to destroy & trash unsold merchandise?

    It's ok for them to do it, it's their property and they can do with it as they seem fit. At the same time though, it does seem needlessly wasteful and if they were going to trash all that stuff it seems to me that it could be put it practical use rather then being cut up and thrown out. But it's not like we can force them to do it outside of consumer pressure. And that requires a lot of people to act socially responsible to forgo their Walmart discounts or whatever keeps people going to that **** hole to apply consumer pressure to the company.

    Socially irresponsible, greedy, waste of resource? Yes. Well within their rights to do regardless? Yes.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

    Quote Originally Posted by A. de Tocqueville
    "I should have loved freedom, I believe, at all times, but in the time in which we live I am ready to worship it."

  4. #4
    Doesn't go below juicy
    tacomancer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Cleveland
    Last Seen
    05-20-16 @ 02:42 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Other
    Posts
    31,781

    Re: Is it Ok for store to destroy & trash unsold merchandise?

    I agree with Ikari.

    Legally they can do what they want with their stuff, but it is highly immoral.

  5. #5
    Sage
    disneydude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Last Seen
    Today @ 02:01 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Liberal
    Posts
    25,129

    Re: Is it Ok for store to destroy & trash unsold merchandise?

    I selected "other" because there wasn't an option that I agreed with.

    I think that they have every right to do whatever they want with their merchandise. However, I am glad that their actions were exposed and this way American consumers can make an informed decision whether to patronize them.

    Was it their right? Absolutely. Is it right? No. They should have donated these items. It wouldn't hurt their business to give the items to individuals who wouldn't have the funds to buy the items themselves.
    <font size=5><b>Its been several weeks since the Vegas shooting.  Its it still "Too Early" or can we start having the conversation about finally doing something about these mass shootings???​</b></font>

  6. #6
    Sage
    Gibberish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Last Seen
    12-23-12 @ 09:29 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Moderate
    Posts
    6,339

    Re: Is it Ok for store to destroy & trash unsold merchandise?

    Though they have the right to do whatever they want, socially it is immoral and creates bad PR.

    There is no reason to destroy the product when you can easily donate to organizations willing to distribute the product for you free from liability.
    "Gold gets dug out of the ground in Africa, or someplace. Then we melt it down, dig another hole, bury it again and pay people to stand around guarding it. It has no utility. Anyone watching from Mars would be scratching their head."
    - Warren Buffett

  7. #7
    Banned
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Last Seen
    11-23-11 @ 10:06 PM
    Lean
    Independent
    Posts
    3,827

    Re: Is it Ok for store to destroy & trash unsold merchandise?

    Just a quick comment on the poll. It isn't asking whether or not the stores have the legal right to destroy their own merchandise. Obviously, in the eyes of the law, they are free to do so.

    The poll is questioning your opinion of this action ethically/morally.

  8. #8
    Puer Aeternus
    Tsunami's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Virginia
    Last Seen
    11-08-16 @ 04:55 AM
    Gender
    Lean
    Libertarian
    Posts
    1,132

    Re: Is it Ok for store to destroy & trash unsold merchandise?

    I have worked at stores that canceled donation policies for similar reasons. If you heard that Wal-Mart donated all open dog food to a local animal shelter, logically that means that going to Wal-Mart and poking a hole in a bag saves the life of a dog and costs you nothing. (I know, costs are passed along to the customers, but most people don't get that fact, and you are always free to shop elsewhere.) That creates an incentive for people to do economic damage to your company. Similarly, if people thought not buying clothing at Wal-Mart helped homeless people it could encourage them to shop elsewhere. Granted, this story is also bad publicity, but I still say the reasoning behind such policies are valid.
    Schadenfreude ist die schönste Freude.

  9. #9
    Sage
    Ikari's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Colorado
    Last Seen
    12-08-17 @ 01:05 AM
    Gender
    Lean
    Libertarian - Left
    Posts
    54,124

    Re: Is it Ok for store to destroy & trash unsold merchandise?

    Instead of reasons such as encouraging more "damage" I think the real reason a lot of this is done is probably some legal liability sort of thing. That tends to be why companies are motivate to do anything. Or, of course, they could just be a bunch of asses.

    In the end, I do think it is morally and socially irresponsible to destory perfectly good products which could find better use.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

    Quote Originally Posted by A. de Tocqueville
    "I should have loved freedom, I believe, at all times, but in the time in which we live I am ready to worship it."

  10. #10
    Advisor gopman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Last Seen
    09-04-16 @ 09:52 AM
    Gender
    Lean
    Very Conservative
    Posts
    556

    Re: Is it Ok for store to destroy & trash unsold merchandise?

    What's more amazing is that anyone could read this article and actually believe this is a common business practice at Wal Mart. Not only does the article specifically state that the items were actually dumped by a Wal Mart contractor, but it notes that Wal Mart's policy is to donate or resell unworn items. And maybe even more interesting is that common sense would dictate that Wal Mart would be better off selling these goods to either a deep discount retailer like TJ Maxx (who's entire business is dealing in excess clothing like this) or to some 3rd world retailer somewhere.

    In this case, the contractor likely risked some kind of contractual violation if it delivered these to anyone other than Wal Mart. It's an unfortunate situation, but the writer (and most of the readers) clearly have an agenda here.
    If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand.
    - Milton Friedman

Page 1 of 7 123 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •