Goodwill of Colorado closed the fitting rooms at its 42 retail locations due to high levels of theft, substance abuse and vandalism, the company announced last week.
In a statement released Thursday, Goodwill of Colorado said the decision was made for the safety of its shoppers and team members.
“This decision was not made lightly,” the statement said. “We are experiencing high levels of theft, substance abuse and vandalism in our fitting rooms and needed to make a difficult decision in order to keep our team members and shoppers safe.”
Goodwill communications manager Ashley Furst said the number of shoplifting incidents nearly doubled from January to May.
“This wasn’t an easy decision,” Furst said. “We were seeing a lot of tags on the floor from items we put out on the sales floor and our ability to fulfill our mission is directly supported by our retail locations.”
The fitting rooms have been closed at all of Goodwill’s Colorado stores, except the Déjà Blue Boutique in Denver’s Cherry Creek North shopping district.
According to the National Retail Federation, retail losses due to theft reached $94.5 billion in 2021, up from $90.8 billion in 2020.
“This is a serious issue for all retailers. There are major brands who are exiting markets completely and closing stores due to theft,” Goodwill stated in a Facebook post. “For us as a nonprofit, theft and vandalism take the financial toll of impacting our ability to provide programs and services to assist Coloradans in need.”
Furst said another contributing factor was a lack of staff.
“Our retail locations don’t have the staff to designate a fitting room attendant like you might see at Target or Walmart,” she said.
Furst said the Déjà Blue Boutique wasn’t experiencing the same issues and has a much smaller footprint, allowing the location to designate a fitting room attendant.
At this time, Furst said there are no plans to reopen the fitting rooms, but the company will honor its return policy.
“We’re not going anywhere,” she said. “But if we want to continue to provide our programs and services to Coloradans in need at no cost, we need to take certain measures.”
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