First U.S. Fur-Free Department Store

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JC Penney Co., Inc. has become the first chain of department stores in the United States to ban all products made with real animal fur in store locations and on its website. But the good news is not without controversy.

In 2006 JC Penney had a major run-in with the Humane Society of the United States over the mislabeling of some jackets they were selling. An HSUS investigation found that the department store was advertising jackets trimmed with raccoon fur when they were actually using fur from raccoon dogs. These are species of the dog family living in the wild. Furthermore, the research discovered these feral dogs were being captured in China and skinned alive for their fur.

In good faith, JC Penney’s removed the jackets from its racks. The chain of
1,000 stores have been virtually fur-free ever since the incident, but finally decided to make it an official policy. Robert Hood, a VP with JC Penney acknowledged their intent in a letter to HSUS last week that said, “The Company is fur-free and has no plans for fur items in the future.”

HSUS is thrilled with the news and considers the official policy a victory for its fur-free campaign. Spokesperson Pierre Grzybowski said, “They are the first department store chain in the United States to go fur-free, which is hugely significant. There’s been many, many other types of stores that have gone fur-free over the past several years—this is the first of the big traditional department store chains.”

JC Penney follows other types of retail industry leaders like Overstock.com which became the first online store to completely ban the sale of fur products last summer.

And the UK had its own victory for compassionate retailers when the Sainsbury supermarket chain joined the movement and agreed to become fur-free in its fashion line called TU Clothing. Worldwide there are more than 130 well-known fur-free companies.

Published in: on March 18, 2009 at 6:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

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