Good Intentions With The Wrong Results

pacsun tshirt

A mother with good intentions saw some provocative t-shirts at the mall and decided to buy every single one of them to remove them from the store:

“The bottom of one woman is completely exposed, uncovered and it’s a very provocative pose that she’s in,” said Cox. “Clearly it was offensive and I was most concerned about the youth and the children that would be viewing this.”
Judy went in and spoke with the manager about taking the display down. The manager, while she may have agreed with Judy, said the only thing she could do was email the complaint to her corporate managers.
Cox said, “As I was leaving the mall I had this thought coming to me that I can’t leave it, I can’t let it stay in the window for 3 or 4 days while someone makes a decision.”
So she did the only thing she knew to do, she bought every single explicit t-shirt in the store.
“I told her it didn’t matter what the cost was that I just wanted every single one, including the displays out of the store.”
Fortunately, Judy says, they didn’t have any stock in the back so she walked out spending close to $600. She plans on returning the shirts at the end of the 60-day return policy for a full refund.

That’s a noble effort on her part to try and rid her town of some shirts she wouldn’t want kids seeing.  The only problem is, she’s giving the store, PacSun, every incentive to ship more shirts to that location.  PacSun caters to a younger crowd, many of whom probably have different viewpoints of the world than a concerned mother.  Knowing that a mom hates the shirts is likely to send them to the store looking to grab one themselves.

This is easily the best kind of publicity PacSun could get.  They have no real reason to change their strategy whatsoever.  When she returns the shirts for a refund, the store will likely happily accept them.  Assuming they couldn’t resell the shirts (which they can and will) then $600 is a small price to pay for this kind of marketing exposure.

If this woman really wants to change PacSun’s strategy, she needs to make it clear that showing these shirts in the store will hurt PacSun’s business.  She’d have to organize and protest to the point that the bottom line is impacted.  Buy a bunch of shirts is not only the lazy way out, it will have the wrong results.

  • By The Weakonomist
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