EXTRA! EXTRA! THE UGLY TRUTH ABOUT DE-SHOPPING | We all are guilty of buying an item, wear- ing it out with the tags on and then happily returning it to get our money back. This practice is called de-shopping. Expen- sive gowns are bought and then returned because a fashioni- sta can only be seen wearing it once. Professional scammers often steal expensive accessories like Louis Vuitton bags and return them for store credit or gift cards. Deshoppers are skewing retail revenue numbers by the millions each month and huge department store giants, like Macy’s, are suffering because of their lenient return policies. According to the National Retail Federation, by the end of 2015, there was an estimated $15.9 billion fraudulent and abusive returns made in the overall retail industry that garnered over $200 billion in revenue that year. Although companies like Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy’s have some of the most open return policies, it’s hurting their profits in the long run. Macy’s department stores are closing around the country because they just can’t keep up with the changing landscape of retail that’s heavily driven by the digital space. We are living in the age of consolidation. Shoppers want to buy, wear it, and return it because a new trend pops up every day. That’s why Rent - The - Runway is thriving: they are making money off of the deshoppers. People who just need an outfit for a special occasion and don’t think twice about returning it. Call it sus- tainable. But retailers are getting played. Dry cleaners will even clean clothing with tags still on it! Return policy: What s tarted out as a marketing campaign has become a hugggee problem that is the ultimate demise of brick - and - mortar stores. But as emotional shoppers we won’t stop returning things. It’s our inherit nature of acquiring and recycling things.