Originally Posted by kbe
I have no doubt that is the official word. But..how is it enforced? Are the broken and emptied tester bottles required to be shown or returned to the company or is it just the word of the rep (if one is indeed in the store) or the department manager or so on that they personally have destroyed them or seen them destroyed? I just find it hard to believe that in most major stores a very easily exchanged for money item is simply destroyed if such an end is not monitored closely by the only people who would benefit from the destruction of the tester.
Sorry if I sound cynical about this but employee theft of store items is a major problem for most retailers. Tester bottles not for sale in the first place and slated for 'destruction' would seem to have a bottom place on the priority list of things to worry about being taken by dishonest employees/managers of the store.
Of course I can cast generalisations for all stores in every country, but here is the experience Ive had as an SA whilst living in Australia.
We would often have customers BEG us to buy testers (particularly if we were currently out of stock of the scent itself, or if it had been discontinued). It is simply impossible to "ring up" a sale with a tester which has no barcode or packaging. Being as receipts are given (and expected) with every sale, there is no possibility for a dishonest SA to sell the goods on to a customer.
The department store will usually buy the tester and printed "brand name" blotters as its own collateral. If a scent is discontinued or no longer in stock, testers have to be surrendered to the store security whose task it was to take them to the large metal skips outside, and smash them. This is also true for factices and other collateral that has no commercial value. No, not every store enforces this, but at least the large Australian department stores (Myer / David Jones) where I worked, make it a policy. (This destruction of stock was also the norm when display china and glassware was chipped or cracked accidentally. I witnessed several Rosenthal/Versace decorative plates (worth hundreds) smashed in the skip because the accompanying teacups were cracked or unaccounted for).
Back to perfume... if, however, L'Oreal brings testers into the store to promote their lines, then those items remain the property of L'Oreal, not the store. It is usually determined on a company-by-company basis. If a scent is no longer stocked in a certain store, or is discontinued, testers are collected by State Managers and taken back to L'Oreal office. They are then redistributed to other stores, or, in the case of perfumes no longer with representation in the country, are then either sold or passed on to Sales Assistants that work for that brand.
Only a few years ago whilst working for Cosmax/BPI, "Creed" decided to pull their portfolio out of the Australian department store retail market. Cosmax, who at the time was responsible for the Creed line, sold off stock at 80% discount, and recalled all testers and other collateral (blotters/ display stands etc). At our following monthly training meeting, our State Management team arrived with cardboard boxes FULL of Creed testers both used and unused, and we could simply "help ourselves before leaving at the end of the night". I went home with 9 bottles of Creed (only two were previously used), as did the vast number of my colleagues.