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H&M and Wal-Mart destroyed and trashed unsold goods

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.”


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To be dumped in a

To be dumped in a publicly-funded landfill, no doubt...

I don't have as big a problem with clothes being trashed as I do with food.

Ventura 2012

It's their property

they can do with it what they wish.


It is their property and their choice. I certainly wouldn't advocate "forcing" anyone to donate if they don't care to do so. However, it is also my right (and others)- having the knowledge of their choice - to view them as a greedy, self-serving, uncharitable company and to avoid shopping there. It's already bad enough how they treat their employees...
It is their choice, but Walmart is becoming less and less popular with the people...and they may end up paying the consequences of that choice...
People are equally entitled to their opinion's of companies and businesses - are they not? Isn't the public's "opinion" of goods, services, and prices etc., what should drive the true market?
I'll defend Walmart's decision to trash goods... however, I'll also defend the public right to voice an opinion of Walmart's business practices.


It is their property.

And what about people who throw away useful items from their own house instead of driving to a donation collection station?

Again, it is their property

they can do with it as they wish.

It may be stupid or irresponsible. Or they may find the time to take it somewhere is not worth the effort or they don't have the time at all.

What would you do? FORCE people and companies to "donate"?

A good analogy for the whole economy

We spend money we don't have to import goods from abroad then destroy it and bury it in a hole. Quite a winning economic strategy.

northstar's picture

They don't care

They probably do this because they can write it off as losses and insurance will fully cover it. There are so many people right now who need help, but they don't care. It's always the bottom line, no matter what.

Real eyes realize real lies

We want our country back

Every year is a year for Ron Paul!

My dad used to have

a small grocery store and once in a while the freezer would shut down and the ice cream would start getting soft. Dad would have my brother run the ice cream bars up to the local school to give to the kids. I guess he could have thrown the ice cream away but instead of wasting it he put it to good use, putting smiles on little faces.

Prepare & Share the Message of Freedom through Positive-Peaceful-Activism.

This has two saddest things

This has two saddest things to me. One being that two huge companies are using the penultimate childish argument of "If I can't have it, nobody can have it" which just sickens me. Even i separate my deposit cans in a clean bag so the poor trash pickers have an easier time getting a few extra cents for some food. Second, they are PAYING people to do this, a job that has to take at least several people an entire workday of lost productivity, simply in "asset denial"

This is not News

I remeber working at a burger King in high school and this was done nightly with the excess food made overnight. I remeber the manager making sure that nobody took any food home even the employees.

We threw away alot of food every night while people were starving in homeless shelters and because of that I have stayed away from going to any fastfood resturant in a long while.

This is also not exclusive to Walmart or Burger King, but with little late night research, you will catch your local department stores, resturant or grocers doing the exact same thing incase you want to start boycotting walmart for this reason

This is not News

triple post

This is not News

double post



Free market includes doing

Free market includes doing things like minimizing supply to keep profits up...which keeps jobs.

If we all stopped buying clothes from retail stores for a year, we'd put millions in the street.

Wanna really help the poor? Help companies keep/create jobs by buying stuff from them.

We're all Keynsians now


That's the right on man, you

That's the right on man, you said it all.

The problem is that Wal Mart

wants to appear humanitarian by donating clothing and green by recycling. These are marketing points for buying there but have been shown to be false. This would be a disastrous discovery, remember what happened with the Kathy Lee sweatshop scandal?

Edit: Never mind, they did just that. Wal Mart was just shocked at this discovery! My my.

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 us."

After several days of no response from H&M, the company made a statement today, promising to stop destroying the garments at the midtown Manhattan location. They said they will donate the items to charity. H&M spokeswoman Nicole Christie said, "It will not happen again," and that the company would make sure none of the other locations would do so either. Hopefully that's the final word.

The company has a duty to

The company has a duty to work for the shareholders of the company.
If you don't like it, boycott the store or attempt to change their policies by becoming a shareholder and having the company change their policies.

It's supposed to be a free market, not a market for everyone to dictate their ideas onto others.

It's all about the bottom line.

It's all about the bottom line.

This has been going on for a long time. I remember several years ago, when I was working for a commercial trim company, watching an elderly store employee at one of the major chains,putting tiny slices on the pant legs of out-dated and out-of-fashion jeans, then throwing them in the dumpster. I asked why he was doing that and he said it was the store's policy to slice up clothes before they were thrown in the dumpster to apparently prevent people from getting something for nothing, assuming that people would shop in the dumpster instead of in the store. He would small slices so he could then go back after work and get them to take home to his kids.

Live free or DIE!

look, the bottom line is

if this really ticks people off, wal mart should have lost a lot more of its market shares already. the issue is people are uninformed, many of them don't bother with keeping up to date on what's going on. it's the same old thing, uneducated and apathetic mass is the problem, having someone whose interest is detached from those who actually need to shop at that place and from those who could have potentially benefited from the wasted food and clothes write the laws and then have even more apathetic and even less intelligent government employees scoured from the bottom of the private labor market to enforce those rules won't solve anything. chances are any laws that get made out of the short burst of a public outcry will end up hurting other businesses who do not share those policies.

So true

If government would get out of the "charity" business (as well as the free market business) then the people themselves could handle such issues with much better judgement.

I support this.

If I owned a large business, I would rather send my unwanted goods to the landfill and take the tax break than give it to charity. Donating to charity for the sake of appearances is doing it for the wrong reasons. It's insincere, extremely selfish, and goes against the entire concept of being charitable.

What would necessarily make

What would necessarily make such donations only for appearances sake? And even if they were wholly and only for appearances sake, do you think the homeless guy who keeps a bit more of his own body heat because of a gift will care one way or the other? I'm all for the free market, and I would not make such ridiculous arguments as to say that rules should be implemented to stop this sort of thing, because that is what we are all trying to stop the almost neverending cascade of, but it's still tacky. We just don't think there should be a federal body regulating tackiness. Trash pickers are not going to destroy the profit margins of a multibillion dollar company. The amount of loss would be negligible, especially in light of the fact they would see no profit from things they throw out anyway.

Don't they get a tax break

for charity ??? I would think so.
Instead, throwing away perfectly good stuff for a government tax break is doing it for the "right" moral reason?
Besides, if your "goods" didn't sale...why should the government reimburse you for bad choices with a tax break? If one doesn't want to donate, then sell them for a quarter. LOL
In the stores where I find "donated new items"...the tags (and labels) have been removed... so noone is donating it for "appearances"..names are anonymous.
Canned food items in food banks have no identifications.
That little problem is easily solved.

Only in America is waste (and cheating) so accepted...by people, business, and government. It's a shame.

So is it the opinion of the people

on this site that people and companies can not do what they want with their own property? I don't agree with the policy, but I think it's the same as with paperback books. The way the merchants get their refund from unsold books is to remove the covers and dispose of the rest of the book. It is up to the manufacturers to set the terms of any refunds to the merchants. Wal Mart donates millions of dollars worth of food to local food banks. I think the issue of the returned food is due to the fact that it left their possession and therefore anything could have happened to it in that time. The clerk was right. Why didn't YOU simply donate it to a food bank?

Snap Crackle Pop...

A sealed jar is a sealed jar.... where is the danger there. Seriously, ALL of the homeless folks I've befriended they all dumpster dive for food. HUNGER ALWAYS TRUMPS BEING PICKY. Once upon a time during a very cold spell I gave a homeless couple access to my travel trailer to sleep in. That week visiting a grocery store it was suggested I should drive around back and we'd see what perfectly edible food was shamelessly tossed in the big green bin. Sounded like an adventure to me... so Mark says to me: "to get the really good stuff you have to go in". In he went and out he came with two big trash bags full of frozen Alaskan king crab legs. Well.... I've never before and never since ate so many crabs legs in all my life....!

Seriously it's rare that I return food... I know meats and breads all get tossed due to the danger of tampering. But come on a sealed jar goes pop when opened. Sure Walmart has a right to do what they want with their property yea, and I have a right to boycott them raa raa raa yea, and it's my right, privilege and intention to now give my business to the local community grocery a mere mile from my doorstep. I used to walk to the store as a kid and looks like those old ways are coming back in style again.

Ramblin Randy

My Walmart Boycott Started with A Jar of Pickles...

Actually I returned 6 jars of pickles ( the same day I bought them ) and the lady puts labels on them saying "do not restock" and I'm thinking this is wrong if they are throwing them out. I asked about them and the customer service rep says yep they get tossed.

Said to her "but they are unopened.... bought too many for a holiday party. Seals still intact...!" To the dump they go she replies. I said they need to donate this stuff this is a sin. Recommended they get some lawyers to draw up a legal form relasing any food banks from liabality... she just rolled her eyes.

I made sure she knew I was unhappy about the policy. She then says if she were I... she'd keep them and then donate them herself. I immediately replied YOU are the ones placing the food in the dumpsters....! If feeding the needy gets you cool points in Heaven, then I can only guess that tossing out good food must thrill that Prince of Darkness.

I no longer even blink or think twice about patronage to such a souless store.

Ramblin Randy

Now wait...

How many churches did you pass on the way BACK to Walmart?

You could have just donated.. Oh wait...

You wouldn't have gotten your money back.

I understand now.

Soulless indeed.

~Live life to its fullest, with an open heart, open arms and most important... an open mind~

Walking In Another's Foot Steps

You should go buy some pickles and donate them to every church you pass tomorrow.... deal ? But be wary most churches you'll pass are only social clubs that meet a mere 2 time a week, with one gathering set aside to eat ham and beans on wednesday night; but rest easy your pickles will somehow surely be eaten make no mistake. From experience.... I'd say maybe 25 percent of the churches (if you are lucky) will have a active food or clothing ministry and it is those hard working folks who can and do make a difference.

For the record: the holidays are about giving.... and I spent every dollar I had till my bank account was at zero right up to the 24th of December. The now famous pickles I returned to Walmart, and with the cash in hand, I in turn bought a single huge jar of pickles instead. I just wanted to make an exchange...... and save some change. I had not the money in my pocket to buy more.

Presently I'm late on rent, Jeep payment is over a month due, and I need a new battery for the thing but cash is scarce. Borrowed some lawnmower gas from the shed today and poured in the gas tank to get to work early this morning. I'm sure I qualify for food stamps and assistance from food banks.... but since i do have a job I'll just tough it out and be thankful.

Ramblin Randy


was started by a friend of my grandfather..

Actually my father was in the meeting as well back then about if he should start in the clothing business...

It resulted in the "Hennes" store as far as I know

My grandfathers name was Mauritz by coincidence...right...

Since they were friends, my grandfather could give some advice...
as he already had many shops in that area.

We all know how well they did...

It seems to me, H&M does well weather there is a bad or good economy, since they sell sheep clothing...sry was that cheap clothing ?

I would guess Ikea does well as well, in comparison to other companies...

A brilliant success..

I think they can do whatever they wan´t with their property..