Luxury merchandisers are burning unsold merchandise valued over $600 million each year. Destroying clothing is a common practice amongst fashion merchandisers in order to keep the price of goods high and the availability of products low. We examine the improper disposal of deadstock when luxury and fast-fashion marketers slash and burn their unsold goods. First, we describe what fashion merchandisers are doing and why they are destroying goods. Second, we provide brief case studies of fashion firms. Third, we present a conceptualization of social irresponsibility and responsibility. Finally, we offer a set of recommendations for managers to i) better respond to stakeholder demands, ii) enhance forecasting through technology, iii) implement a circular economy model, and iv) improve reporting practices.
Observers have argued that managers pay too much attention to short term results at the expense of long run value. This article expands on the managerial...