As business majors we are put in place of responsibility to perform ethically within our future careers in retail. The retail industry is very fun and exciting, a career where it's employers are continuously interacting with new products and people. Working in an industry where the demands are constant and the competition is high, it is extremely easy to fall into unethical behaviors in order to meet people's wants and needs.
Sometimes the line between ethical and unethical is very clear and other times, it is blurred. Luckily, in our major, we are required to take a full class concerning ethics within the retail industry; it is called Fashion, Ethics, and Consumption (RM 1201). This class brings up the common ethical concerns like ethical hiring practices and treatment of employees. However, hardier topics are addressed as well; topics like sweatshops, unethical marketing, and the sale counterfeit products. These topics may seem to be black and white, however, you would be surprised at how often they do occur within the retail industry. For this reason, it is very important that we, as future retail professionals, be well informed and aware so that we can take initiative in being ethically responsible when we are in our future retail careers.
(Unfortunately, many retailers use sweatshops; it is somewhat inevitable, mostly because the demand for low-costing products is growing larger, and in order to keep these costs down, retailers have outsource to countries where labor is cheaper. This is an example of how we as consumers, not only retail professionals, have to be ethically aware. Photo Credit: http://fashion.lilithezine.com/images/Nike-Sweatshops-05.jpg)
Until Next Week,
Sasenka- Retail Merchandising