Counterfeit items are the most common type of fraud found at Nordstrom, according to a newly released report by the private company created to conduct the study. Quartz, a digital news platform, took the results of the study to the National Retail Federation, which has previously been critical of the survey.
In July 2018, a Nordstrom store in Ohio admitted that it was selling over $190,000 worth of fake bags and jewelry, according to The Trace, an American news site about the people and places behind counterfeit crimes. When the retailer checked its location in November, it discovered $233,753.81 worth of counterfeit items, including fake designer jeans, handbags, wallets, perfume, eyeglasses, and watches. Still, the report found that Nordstrom stores were the only ones that managed to sell fake items to consumers. According to Quartz, the online marketplace in the Nordstrom shopper registry offers 149 items that look very similar to the real thing.
In a statement to Quartz, Nordstrom spokeswoman Tara Darrow, who has faced employee whistleblower lawsuits and plenty of scrutiny over how it screen customers and employee accusations of customer abuse, also said that it is the retailer’s responsibility to keep track of items that don’t meet its standards. “While we can’t control what other retailers may sell,” Darrow said, “we have the responsibility to make sure that items in our inventory are legitimate.”
The initial complaint against Nordstrom described the merchandise as “fakes” and “look-alike” items. And while Nordstrom spokesperson Lauren Coleman-Lochner insisted that Nordstrom doesn’t let staff sell merchandise, she did acknowledge that counterfeit items are sold “at a large scale” on its platforms. And, according to the report, Nordstrom’s other major shoppers are Dillard’s and Burlington Coat Factory, which were also found to sell counterfeit goods.
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Nordstrom, which is located in Seattle, might be the best-known retail on eBay, but it’s not unique when it comes to selling counterfeit items. At Nordstrom, counterfeit merchandise is usually found on its warehouse sites. But eBay, which was recently targeted by three separate lawsuits over counterfeit goods, is also known to sell counterfeit fakes, so it might be a good idea to make sure you’re buying a legit product, according to Michael Maddock, executive director of the American Anti-Fraud Alliance.
“A great education about where to go for fakes is going to be very powerful to this fraud problem,” Maddock said. “If you want to tackle [this problem], first of all you have to have honest consumers.”
Read the full story at Quartz.
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