Saskatoon Local Advocates for Enhanced Staff Training Amid Rising Counterfeit Clothing in Thrift Stores


A Saskatoon local has voiced his concerns regarding the increasing influx of counterfeit clothing items spotted in thrift stores, citing in particular a need for comprehensive training of shop staff in the identification and removal of these fakes. Derek Chambers, during his visit to a local Value Village store this past summer, noticed several pieces of clothing that seemed suspiciously counterfeit.

After having voiced his concerns, store personnel took the doubtful items off the rack, acknowledging how the overwhelming quantity of merchandise processed can sometimes allow a few fakes fall through the cracks. However, just last week, Chambers found an item with a suspiciously high price on display – a supposed Canada Goose jacket retailing at $400. According to Chambers, the misplaced tags and inaccurate stitching gave away the jacket’s false identity.

Inquisitive about the store policy on counterfeit products, Chambers posed a hypothetical situation of purchasing the jacket and discovering its lack of authenticity. To his bafflement, he was informed that any such return would only qualify for in-store credit, with no refund in sight. Later, when Chambers attempted to document his finding, he was asked by staff members to leave the premises.

Praising Chambers for his vigilant action, a spokesperson for Value Village’s U.S.-based parent company, Savers, clarified that each of their stores hosts tens of thousands of unique items on a weekly basis. They encouraged customers to notify store management in case of any dubious product on sale, reassuring that corrections would be made as and when necessary.

Nevertheless, Chambers insists that with appropriate training, staff could discern counterfeit items prior to their pricing. He raised queries regarding the training and experience of staff in identifying nuanced details like clothing stitches.

Jocelyn Malcolm, a local thrift store owner, shared her efforts in combating this issue. She admitted the increasing challenge in authenticating items, and highlighted her staff’s additional training and vigilance in verifying an item before shelving. She typically rejects the resale of fake high-end brands, considering it unlawful. To aid in these efforts, her staff utilizes technology, including apps that can scan attached barcodes to verify the authenticity of designer bags.

Amidst the rising reliance on thrift stores, Chambers strongly advises customers to keep a sharp eye on their purchases, despite believing these incidents of counterfeit items being rare anomalies.


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