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Fairness index in the fashion sector: 40% of customers have been exposed to unfairness



Due to a feeling of discomfort from the level of fairness in the Israeli commercial field, as evidenced, among others, by multiple complaints from consumers being mislead, and especially in light of the lack of symmetry in the relationships between consumers and businesses, the Israel Consumer Council and the Administration for Research and Economics at the Ministry of Economy have developed a fairness Index designed to improve the level of fairness in the Israeli commercial life.

This index is the fifth one in a series of publications regarding the fairness index. It was preceded by indexes in the fields of food chains (2 surveys), banking and electrical and electronic appliances.

The aim of the study is to examine the level of perceived unfairness in the field of fashion chains. This index was based on a telephone survey among 1,010 men and women aged 18 and over, who have bought items in fashion chains during the past six months. The survey was conducted in December 2015.

For the purpose of the index, 13 incidents of unfairness in the field of fashion chains where defined, such as: discounts on items that are poorly explained, so that by the time you have reached the cashier, you could not understand whether the discount applies to you and what is the price of the item; in a store from which you bought, you have been faced with mistakes in the bill at the cashier; terms for return or exchange are not displayed in visible ways or are unclear or even misleading; after a transaction was canceled, the store did not repay you the money you deserve by law; the seller has recommended a particular outfit that does not fit you or that is not flattering; you feel that there is no worth to the price; the seller has mainly recommended you to buy the most expensive items out of the store's inventory; there are not enough changing rooms or operating cashiers; you have not received explanations regarding the terms of use of the chain's loyalty card and more.

The chains the consumers were asked about where: Crazy Line, H&O, Hamashbir LaTsarchan, H&M, Tamnun, Golf, Zara, Renoir, Castro and Fox.

Main findings

6 out of 10 buyers considered the parameters defined in this list as unfair events.

4 out of 10 shoppers report that during the past year, they have been exposed to events from the list above they perceived as unfair.
On average,3 out of 10 buyers feel that have received a mediocre or poor treatment of fairness.

Regarding the question of whether there is a gap between men and women? The answer is yes! More women (compared to men) said they have received a fair treatment at a low degree and below from the chain they bought from - 30.4% as compared to 23.3% for men.

Regarding the question of whether there is an effect of income on the report as to the level of fairness? It turns out that more low- income earners (relative to high-income ones) said they received a fair treatment at a low degree from the chain they bought from - 30.3% low-income earners as compared to 17.6% with higher income earners.

Israel Consumer Council CEO, Lawyer Mr. Ehud Peleg said that the conduct of the business leading consumers - through various tricks - to buy a garment that is not optimal for them constitutes an improper commercial practice. Peleg mentions that leading the consumer to think that an outfit which does not fit him/her is the most appropriate one, either through making it difficult for him/her to make his/her own impression, or through unfounded artificial compliments or flattery, is a unfair manipulation. It is a pity that such ugly behaviors have invaded the industry of beauty, aesthetics and elegance.

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The Israel Consumer Council is the largest consumer organization in Israel. It is a statutory, non-profit corporation which works to defend consumers and protect their rights, by handling complaints, seeking solutions..