The Reading / Listening - Level 6

An upmarket chain of U.S. department stores has taken action to stop people buying expensive clothes, wearing them once and then returning them for a refund. About 65 per cent of U.S. retailers reported they have been victims of this practice, known as “wardrobing”. This form of "return fraud" costs the retail industry an estimated $8.8 billion a year. The store, Bloomingdale's, has started attaching large, black, hard-to-hide tags to the bottom of dresses that cost over $150. The garment cannot be returned if the tag is missing. This means anyone thinking they can have a "free dress rental" might have to think again. The tag means they would be advertising the fact at their party that they are wardrobing.



Retail analyst Hitha Prabhakar explained how serious wardrobing was, saying: "What people don't realize is that it's an illegal process." Wardrobing has become such a problem that Bloomingdale's has decided to risk annoying and potentially losing customers in an effort to deter it. They have, in effect, let go a little of the sales mantra that "the customer is always right". Some Bloomingdale's customers believe the tags make them feel dishonest, while others think it's a long overdue solution to unscrupulous shoppers. The National Retail Federation said: "It's a delicate balance of loss prevention and good customer service, and the relationship has to be handled with appropriate finesse."

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Level 4  or  Level 5

Sources
  • http://abcnews.go.com/Business/bloomingdales-cracks-returned-items-worn/story?id=20304704
  • http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-09-26/return-fraud-clothing-and-electronics-retailers-fight-back


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice, drag and drop activities, crosswords, hangman, flash cards, matching activities and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)



The 40 Lesson Activities on the PDF Handout

WARM-UPS

1. CLOTHES: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about clothes. Change partners often and share your findings.

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words from the article are most interesting and which are most boring.

 

upmarket / department stores / refunds / retailers / victims / garment / advertising / serious / illegal / annoying / dishonest / solution / balance / customer service

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. CUSTOMER SERVICE: Think of one store. What's its customer service like? Complete this table and share what you wrote with your partner(s). Change partners often.

 

Generally good or bad?

How to improve it?

Refunds

 

 

At the cash register

 

 

Sales staff knowledge

 

 

Store website

 

 

Speed of service

 

 

Overall image

 

 

4. REFUNDS: Students A strongly believe stores should not give refunds; Students B strongly believe they have to.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.



MY e-BOOK
See a sample

5. STORES: Rank these and share your rankings with your partner. Put your favourite at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • clothes shops

  • sports shops

  • book stores

  • bakeries

  • coffee shops

  • electrical good shops

  • car showrooms

  • fast food restaurants

6. DEPARTMENT STORE: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word "department store". Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.





BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if  a-h  below are true (T) or false (F).

a.

A market in a department store is selling wardrobes fraudulently.

T / F

b.

People buy clothes just to wear them once and then get a refund.

T / F

c.

The store Bloomingdale's loses around $8.8 billion a year.

T / F

d.

If a Bloomingdale's dress has a black tag missing, there is no refund.

T / F

e.

Wardrobing is illegal.

T / F

f.

Bloomingdale's isn't prepared to lose customers because of wardrobing.

T / F

g.

All Bloomingdale's customers are angry about the tags on dresses.

T / F

h.

Stopping wardrobing and keeping customers happy isn't so easy.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article.

1.

upmarket

a.

discourage

2.

refund

b.

deception

3.

fraud

c.

unlawful

4.

garment

d.

tricky

5.

think again

e.

outfit

6.

realize

f.

luxury

7.

illegal

g.

understand

8.

deter

h.

reimbursement

9.

delicate

i.

skill

10.

finesse

j.

reconsider

3. PHRASE MATCH:  (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

1.

An upmarket chain

a.

solution

2.

returning them

b.

that they are wardrobing.

3.

an estimated

c.

an effort to deter it

4.

The garment cannot be returned

d.

for a refund

5.

advertising the fact at their party

e.

with appropriate finesse

6.

Prabhakar explained how

f.

of U.S. department stores

7.

losing customers in

g.

balance

8.

it's a long overdue

h.

if the tag is missing

9.

It's a delicate

i.

$8.8 billion

10.

the relationship has to be handled

j.

serious wardrobing was





 

GAP FILL

An (1) ____________ chain of U.S. department stores has taken action to stop people buying expensive clothes, wearing them once and then returning them for a (2) ____________. About 65 per cent of U.S. retailers reported they have been (3) ____________of this practice, known as "wardrobing". This form of "return fraud" costs the retail industry an (4) ____________$8.8 billion a year. The store, Bloomingdale's, has started (5) ____________large, black, hard-to-hide tags to the bottom of dresses that cost over $150. The (6) ____________cannot be returned if the tag is missing. This means anyone thinking they can have a "free dress rental" might have to (7) ____________again. The tag means they would be advertising the (8) ____________at their party that they are wardrobing.

 

 

garment
estimated
refund
fact
upmarket
think
victims
attaching

Retail analyst Hitha Prabhakar explained how (9) ____________wardrobing was, saying: "What people don't realize is that it's an (10) ____________process." Wardrobing has become such a problem that Bloomingdale's has decided to (11) ____________annoying and potentially losing customers in an effort to deter it. They have, in (12) ____________, let go a little of the sales (13) ____________that "the customer is always right". Some Bloomingdale's customers believe the tags make them feel dishonest, while others think it's a long (14) ____________solution to (15) ____________shoppers. The National Retail Federation said: "It's a delicate balance of loss prevention and good customer service, and the relationship has to be handled with (16) ____________finesse."

 

unscrupulous
illegal
overdue
effect
serious
appropriate
risk
mantra





LISTENING - Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)

buying expensive clothes, wearing them once and then returning them ______

 

a.  for a refined
b.  for a re-found
c.  for a refund
d.  for a refunds

2)

About 65 per cent of U.S. retailers reported they have been ______

 

a.  victimised of this practice
b.  victim of this practice
c.  vitamins of this practice
d.  victims of this practice

3)

This form of "return fraud" costs the retail industry an ______

 

a.  estimates $8.8 billion
b.  estimated $8.8 billion
c.  estimating $8.8 billion
d.  estimate $8.8 billion

4)

______ be returned if the tag is missing.

 

a.  The garment cannot
b.  The gourmet cannot
c.  The car meant cannot
d.  The car mint cannot

5)

The tag means they would be advertising the fact at their party that ______

 

a.  they're wardrobing
b.  their wardrobing
c.  there wardrobing
d.  they are wardrobing

6)

What people don't realize is that it's ______

 

a.  an ill eagle process
b.  an illegality process
c.  an ill legal process
d.  an illegal process

7)

decided to risk annoying and potentially losing customers in an effort ______

 

a.  to deter it
b.  to defer it
c.  to ditto it
d.  to dieter it

8)

a long overdue solution to ______

 

a.  un-soup less shoppers
b.  unscrupulous shoppers
c.  non  scruples shoppers
d.  unscrew pew lass shoppers

9)

It's a ______ loss prevention and good customer service

 

a.  delicates balance of
b.  deli-cat balance of
c.  Delhi cat balance of
d.  delicate balance of

10)

the relationship has to be handled with ______

 

a.  appropriate finest
b.  appropriate fin 'S'
c.  appropriate finesse
d.  appropriate fin ease

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

(1) ___________________ U.S. department stores has taken action to stop people buying expensive clothes, wearing (2) ___________________ returning them for a refund. About 65 per cent of U.S. retailers reported they (3) ___________________ this practice, known as "wardrobing". This form of "return fraud" costs the retail industry an estimated $8.8 billion a year. The store, Bloomingdale's, (4) ___________________ large, black, hard-to-hide tags to the bottom of dresses that cost over $150. The garment cannot be returned (5) ___________________. This means anyone thinking they can have a "free dress rental" might have to think again. The tag means they would be advertising (6) ___________________ party that they are wardrobing.

Retail analyst Hitha Prabhakar explained how serious wardrobing was, saying: "What people (7) ___________________ that it's an illegal process." Wardrobing has become such a problem that Bloomingdale's has decided to risk annoying (8) ___________________ customers in an effort to deter it. They have, in effect, let go a little (9) ___________________ that "the customer is always right". Some Bloomingdale's customers believe the tags make (10) ___________________, while others think it's a long overdue solution to (11) ___________________. The National Retail Federation said: "It's a delicate balance of loss prevention and good customer service, and the relationship (12) ___________________ with appropriate finesse."





COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS

1.

How many times do 'wardrobers' wear clothes before getting a refund?

2.

How many retailers are effected by wardrobing?

3.

How much money do stores lose because of wardrobing?

4.

What needs to be on a dress to get a refund at Bloomingdale's?

5.

What might a tag on a dress mean at a party?

6.

What did an analyst say people don't understand about wardrobing?

7.

What is Bloomingdale's risking losing?

8.

What sales mantra is mentioned in the article?

9.

How do some customers believe Bloomingdale's is making people feel?

10.

What kind of balance is loss prevention and customer service?

MULTIPLE CHOICE - QUIZ

1.

How many times do 'wardrobers' wear clothes before getting a refund?

6.

What did an analyst say people don't understand about wardrobing?

 

a) countless times
b) twice
c) once
d) until they look a little old

 

a) how best to do it
b) it's illegal
c) how to put the tag back on
d) what it is

2.

How many retailers are effected by wardrobing?

7.

What is Bloomingdale's risking losing?

 

a) around 65%
b) 65,000
c) 65
d) 65 in New York

 

a) customers
b) tags
c) dresses
d) wardrobes

3.

How much money do stores lose because of wardrobing?

8.

What sales mantra is mentioned in the article?

 

a) $8.8 billion
b) $8.8 trillion
c) $8.8 million
d) $8.8 quadrillion

 

a) satisfied customers mean profits
b) money makes the world go round
c) the customer is always right
d) have a nice day

4.

What needs to be on a dress to get a refund at Bloomingdale's?

9.

How do some customers believe Bloomingdale's is making people feel?

 

a) lace
b) a tag
c) a watermark
d) a brand label

 

a) bored
b) beautiful
c) like a supermodel
d) dishonest

5.

What might a tag on a dress mean at a party?

10.

What kind of balance is loss prevention and customer service?

 

a) the wearer is absentminded
b) a new fashion
c) it has been to the dry cleaners
d) the wearer is wardrobing

 

a) a delicate one
b) a digital one
c) life and death
d) a balance of power

ROLE PLAY

Role  A – Wardrobing

You think wardrobing is the biggest problem for stores. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them things that are wrong with their problems. Also, tell the others which is the easiest of these to resolve of these (and why): shoplifting, unstylish garments are or high prices.

Role  B – Shoplifting

You think shoplifting is the biggest problem for stores. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them things that are wrong with their problems. Also, tell the others which is the easiest of these to resolve of these (and why): wardrobing, unstylish garments are or high prices.

Role  C – Unstylish garments

You think unstylish garments are the biggest problem for stores. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them things that are wrong with their problems. Also, tell the others which is the easiest of these to resolve of these (and why): shoplifting, wardrobing or high prices.

Role  D – High prices

You think high prices are the biggest problem for stores. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them things that are wrong with their problems. Also, tell the others which is the easiest of these to resolve (and why): shoplifting, unstylish garments are or wardrobing.





AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words 'return' and 'fraud'.

return

 

fraud

 

 

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

  • upmarket
  • retailers
  • industry
  • 150
  • free
  • fact
  • serious
  • illegal
  • risk
  • little
  • feel
  • balance

CLOTHES SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about clothes in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

 

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

CLOTHES DISCUSSION

STUDENT A's QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

a)

What did you think when you read the headline?

b)

What springs to mind when you hear the word 'clothes'?

c)

What do you think about what you read?

d)

How bad do you think wardrobing is?

e)

What do you think of 'wardrobers'?

f)

Should stores stop issuing refunds?

g)

Why do people buy something and then take it back?

h)

Is the black-tag idea a good one?

i)

Have you ever asked for a refund?

j)

Would you ever try wardrobing (for clothes or anything else)?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B's QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

a)

Did you like reading this article? Why/not?

b)

What penalty should 'wardrobers' get?

c)

Do you think Bloomingdale's actions will be successful?

d)

Is the customer (including you) always right?

e)

Everyone has to pay higher prices because of 'wardrobers'. Is this fair?

f)

What else can stores do to stop 'wardrobers'?

g)

How should stores maintain the delicate balance mentioned at the end of the article?

h)

Do stores have to tread carefully with customers who are unhappy?

i)

Is wardrobing the same as illegally downloading music?

j)

What questions would you like to ask Hitha Prabhakar?





DISCUSSION (Write your own questions)

STUDENT A's QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

________________________________________________________

3.

________________________________________________________

4.

________________________________________________________

5.

________________________________________________________

6.

________________________________________________________

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B's QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

________________________________________________________

3.

________________________________________________________

4.

________________________________________________________

5.

________________________________________________________

6.

________________________________________________________

LANGUAGE - CLOZE

An (1) ____ chain of U.S. department stores has taken action to stop people buying expensive clothes, wearing them once and then returning them for a (2) ____. About 65 per cent of U.S. retailers reported they have been (3) ____ of this practice, known as "wardrobing". This form of "return fraud" costs the retail industry an (4) ____ $8.8 billion a year. The store, Bloomingdale's, has started attaching large, black, hard-to-hide tags to the bottom of dresses that cost over $150. The (5) ____ cannot be returned if the tag is missing. This means anyone thinking they can have a "free dress rental" might have to think again. The tag means they would be advertising the (6) ____ at their party that they are wardrobing.

Retail analyst Hitha Prabhakar explained how serious wardrobing was, saying: "What people don't (7) ____ is that it's an illegal process." Wardrobing has become (8) ____ a problem that Bloomingdale's has decided to risk annoying and potentially losing customers in an effort to deter (9) ____. They have, in effect, let go a little of the sales mantra that "the customer is always right". Some Bloomingdale's customers believe the tags (10) ____ them feel dishonest, while others think it's a long (11) ____ solution to unscrupulous shoppers. The National Retail Federation said: "It's a delicate balance of loss prevention and good customer service, and the relationship has to be (12) ____ with appropriate finesse."

Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.

1.

(a)

outsourcing

(b)

upmarket

(c)

outlet

(d)

universal

2.

(a)

refined

(b)

refund

(c)

refinish

(d)

refrain

3.

(a)

offerings

(b)

fall guys

(c)

sacrifices

(d)

victims

4.

(a)

estimate

(b)

estimated

(c)

estimates

(d)

estimating

5.

(a)

garnish

(b)

gargoyle

(c)

garbage

(d)

garment

6.

(a)

detail

(b)

event

(c)

fact

(d)

verity

7.

(a)

realize

(b)

relish

(c)

relinquish

(d)

relapse

8.

(a)

much

(b)

many

(c)

such

(d)

some

9.

(a)

wardrobing

(b)

them

(c)

all

(d)

it

10.

(a)

make

(b)

force

(c)

show

(d)

request

11.

(a)

overdue

(b)

main

(c)

time

(d)

undergo

12.

(a)

handled

(b)

handed

(c)

handy

(d)

handover

SPELLING

Paragraph 1

1.

An armupekt chain of U.S. department stores

2.

About 65 per cent of U.S. ealrisetr

3.

an ietsmeadt $8.8 billion a year

4.

hnctigtaa large, black, hard-to-hide tags

5.

The aetrnmg cannot be returned

6.

they would be sirndtgvaie the fact

Paragraph 2

7.

tlpeolantiy losing customers

8.

sales mntraa

9.

it's a long overdue onoutsli

10.

cusuoplsrunu shoppers

11.

a ldectiae balance

12.

handled with ptapioraepr finesse

PUT THE TEXT BACK TOGETHER

Number these lines in the correct order.

(    )

shoppers. The National Retail Federation said: "It's a delicate balance of loss prevention and

(    )

annoying and potentially losing customers in an effort to deter it. They have, in effect, let go a little of the sales

(    )

reported they have been victims of this practice, known as "wardrobing". This form of "return fraud"

(    )

clothes, wearing them once and then returning them for a refund. About 65 per cent of U.S. retailers

(    )

large, black, hard-to-hide tags to the bottom of dresses that cost over $150. The garment cannot be

(    )

realize is that it's an illegal process." Wardrobing has become such a problem that Bloomingdale's has decided to risk

(    )

them feel dishonest, while others think it's a long overdue solution to unscrupulous

(    )

mantra that "the customer is always right". Some Bloomingdale's customers believe the tags make

(    )

returned if the tag is missing. This means anyone thinking they can have a "free dress rental" might

(    )

have to think again. The tag means they would be advertising the fact at their party that they are wardrobing.

(    )

Retail analyst Hitha Prabhakar explained how serious wardrobing was, saying: "What people don't

1  )

An upmarket chain of U.S. department stores has taken action to stop people buying expensive

(    )

good customer service, and the relationship has to be handled with appropriate finesse."

(    )

costs the retail industry an estimated $8.8 billion a year. The store, Bloomingdale's, has started attaching

PUT THE WORDS IN THE RIGHT ORDER

1.

of     U.S.     upmarket     stores     chain     An     department.    

2.

then   returning    them   for   a   refund   Wearing   them   once    and.    

3.

an    the    Return    estimated   retail   fraud   $8.8bn   industry    costs

4.

garment    cannot    be    returned   if    the    tag    is    missing    The.    

5.

advertising     means     be     fact     tag     would     the     The    they.    

6.

it's    an    illegal    process    What    people   don't   realize    is    that.    

7.

an     deter     Potentially     in     to     customers     effort    it    losing.    

8.

the     always     The     that     is    mantra    customer    right     sales.    

9.

make     Customers     them     believe     feel    the    dishonest    tags.    

10.

finesse   relationship   be   appropriate   The   to   with   has    handled.    

CIRCLE THE CORRECT WORD (20 PAIRS)

An upmarket cog / chain of U.S. department stores has taken action to stop people buying / purchases expensive clothes, wearing them once and then returning it / them for a refund. About 65 per cent of U.S. retailers reported they have been victims / victimised of this practice, known as "wardrobing". This form of "return fraud" costs the trailer / retail industry an estimated $8.8 billion a year. The store, Bloomingdale's, has started fixating / attaching large, black, hard-to-hide tags / togs to the bottom of dresses that cost over $150. The garnish / garment cannot be returned if the tag is missing. This means anyone thought / thinking they can have a "free dress rental" might have to think again. The tag means they would be advertising the fact / facet at their party that they are wardrobing.

Retail analyst Hitha Prabhakar explained how / why serious wardrobing was, saying: "What people don't realize is that it's an illegality / illegal process." Wardrobing has become such / so a problem that Bloomingdale's has decided to risk annoyance / annoying and potentially losing customers in an effort to deter / defer it. They have, in effect / effort, let go a little of the sales mantra that "the customer is always right". Some Bloomingdale's customers believe / belief the tags make them feel dishonest, while others think it's a length / long overdue solution to unscrupulous shoppers. The National Retail Federation said: "It's a delicate / desiccant balance of loss prevention and good customer service, and the relationship has to be handled with appropriate finest / finesse."

Talk about the connection between each pair of words in italics, and why the correct word is correct.





INSERT THE VOWELS (a, e, i, o, u)

_n _pm_rk_t ch__n _f _.S. d_p_rtm_nt st_r_s h_s t_k_n _ct__n t_ st_p p__pl_ b_y_ng _xp_ns_v_ cl_th_s, w__r_ng th_m _nc_ _nd th_n r_t_rn_ng th_m f_r _ r_f_nd. _b__t 65 p_r c_nt _f _.S. r_t__l_rs r_p_rt_d th_y h_v_ b__n v_ct_ms _f th_s pr_ct_c_, kn_wn _s "w_rdr_b_ng". Th_s f_rm _f "r_t_rn fr__d" c_sts th_ r_t__l _nd_stry _n _st_m_t_d $8.8 b_ll__n _ y__r. Th_ st_r_, Bl__m_ngd_l_'s, h_s st_rt_d _tt_ch_ng l_rg_, bl_ck, h_rd-t_-h_d_ t_gs t_ th_ b_tt_m _f dr_ss_s th_t c_st _v_r $150. Th_ g_rm_nt c_nn_t b_ r_t_rn_d _f th_ t_g _s m_ss_ng. Th_s m__ns _ny_n_ th_nk_ng th_y c_n h_v_ _ "fr__ dr_ss r_nt_l" m_ght h_v_ t_ th_nk _g__n. Th_ t_g m__ns th_y w__ld b_ _dv_rt_s_ng th_ f_ct _t th__r p_rty th_t th_y _r_ w_rdr_b_ng.

R_t__l _n_lyst H_th_ Pr_bh_k_r _xpl__n_d h_w s_r___s w_rdr_b_ng w_s, s_y_ng: "Wh_t p__pl_ d_n't r__l_z_ _s th_t _t's _n _ll_g_l pr_c_ss." W_rdr_b_ng h_s b_c_m_ s_ch _ pr_bl_m th_t Bl__m_ngd_l_'s h_s d_c_d_d t_ r_sk _nn_y_ng _nd p_t_nt__lly l_s_ng c_st_m_rs _n _n _ff_rt t_ d_t_r _t. Th_y h_v_, _n _ff_ct, l_t g_ _ l_ttl_ _f th_ s_l_s m_ntr_ th_t "th_ c_st_m_r _s _lw_ys r_ght". S_m_ Bl__m_ngd_l_'s c_st_m_rs b_l__v_ th_ t_gs m_k_ th_m f__l d_sh_n_st, wh_l_ _th_rs th_nk _t's _ l_ng _v_rd__ s_l_t__n t_ _nscr_p_l__s sh_pp_rs. Th_ N_t__n_l R_t__l F_d_r_t__n s__d: "_t's _ d_l_c_t_ b_l_nc_ _f l_ss pr_v_nt__n _nd g__d c_st_m_r s_rv_c_, _nd th_ r_l_t__nsh_p h_s t_ b_ h_ndl_d w_th _ppr_pr__t_ f_n_ss_."

PUNCTUATE THE TEXT AND ADD CAPITALS

an upmarket chain of us department stores has taken action to stop people buying expensive clothes wearing them once and then returning them for a refund about 65 per cent of us retailers reported they have been victims of this practice known as "wardrobing" this form of "return fraud" costs the retail industry an estimated $88 billion a year the store bloomingdale's has started attaching large black hard-to-hide tags to the bottom of dresses that cost over $150 the garment cannot be returned if the tag is missing this means anyone thinking they can have a "free dress rental" might have to think again the tag means they would be advertising the fact at their party that they are wardrobing

retail analyst hitha prabhakar explained how serious wardrobing was saying "what people don't realize is that it's an illegal process" wardrobing has become such a problem that bloomingdale's has decided to risk annoying and potentially losing customers in an effort to deter it they have in effect let go a little of the sales mantra that "the customer is always right" some bloomingdale's customers believe the tags make them feel dishonest while others think it's a long overdue solution to unscrupulous shoppers the national retail federation said "it's a delicate balance of loss prevention and good customer service and the relationship has to be handled with appropriate finesse"

PUT A SLASH ( / ) WHERE THE SPACES ARE

AnupmarketchainofU.S.departmentstoreshastakenactiontostoppe
oplebuyingexpensiveclothes,wearingthemonceandthenreturningt
hemforarefund.About65percentofU.S.retailersreportedtheyhaveb
eenvictimsofthispractice,knownas"wardrobing".Thisformof"return
fraud"coststheretailindustryanestimated$8.8billionayear.Thestor
e,Bloomingdale's,hasstartedattachinglarge,black,hard-to-hide
tagstothebottomofdressesthatcostover$150.Thegarmentcannotb
ereturnedifthetagismissing.Thismeansanyonethinkingtheycanhav
ea"freedressrental"mighthavetothinkagain.Thetagmeanstheywou
ldbeadvertisingthefactattheirpartythattheyarewardrobing.Retaila
nalystHithaPrabhakarexplainedhowseriouswardrobingwas,saying:
"Whatpeopledon'trealizeisthatit'sanillegalprocess."Wardrobinghas
becomesuchaproblemthatBloomingdale'shasdecidedtoriskannoyi
ngandpotentiallylosingcustomersinanefforttodeterit.Theyhave,ine
ffect,letgoalittleofthesalesmantrathat"thecustomerisalwaysright".
SomeBloomingdale'scustomersbelievethetagsmakethemfeeldisho
nest,whileothersthinkit'salongoverduesolutiontounscrupuloussho
ppers.TheNationalRetailFederationsaid:"It'sadelicatebalanceoflos
spreventionandgoodcustomerservice,andtherelationshiphastobeh
andledwithappropriatefinesse."





FREE WRITING

Write about clothes for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner's paper.

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ACADEMIC WRITING

People who do wardrobing should be arrested and punished.   Discuss.

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HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google's search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about clothes. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. CLOTHES: Make a poster about expensive clothes. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. WARDROBING: Write a magazine article about wardrobing. Include imaginary interviews with people who do it and store owners.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).

5. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? Write a newspaper article about the next stage in this news story. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.

6. LETTER: Write a letter to a "wardrobe". Ask him/her three questions about wardobing. Give him/her three of your opinions on it. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE (p.4)

a

F

b

T

c

F

d

T

e

T

f

F

g

F

h

T

SYNONYM MATCH (p.4)

1.

upmarket

a.

luxury

2.

refund

b.

reimbursement

3.

fraud

c.

deception

4.

garment

d.

outfit

5.

think again

e.

reconsider

6.

realize

f.

understand

7.

illegal

g.

unlawful

8.

deter

h.

discourage

9.

delicate

i.

tricky

10.

finesse

j.

skill

COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS (p.8)

1.

Once

2.

About 65

3.

$8.8 million

4.

A tag

5.

That the wearer is wardrobing

6.

That it's illegal

7.

Customers

8.

The customer is always right

9.

Dishonest

10.

A delicate one

MULTIPLE CHOICE - QUIZ (p.9)

1.

c

2.

a

3.

a

4.

b

5.

d

6.

b

7.

a

8.

c

9.

d

10.

a

ALL OTHER EXERCISES

Please check for yourself by looking at the Article on page 2.
(It's good for your English ;-)

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