In what is being seen as a spin-off of the Welspun disaster, US-based retailer J C Penney has said it will be offering refunds to shoppers who purchased certain towels and a comforter set. This, even though the retailer is unable to figure out whether they are originals or knockoffs.
Penney’s move is the latest in a controversy that has caught other major retailers like Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Walmart over whether one of India’s largest textile suppliers, Welspun, has been furnishing retailers with knockoff Egyptian cotton products.
In August 2016, Target Corp – Welspun’s biggest client – severed business ties with them alleging that Welspun used cheaper quality cotton while supplying bedsheets, passing it off as premium Egyptian cotton.
Soon after Target Corp severed ties with Welspun India, Walmart too decided to stop selling the same after the Indian manufacturer was unable to assure them that the product was genuine.
Though Walmart did not sever ties with Welspun completely, it said it will work with Welspun to implement strong controls and better label the products.
Welspun makes towels, sheets, rugs and carpets for many high profile, global retailers including JC Penney, Bed Bath & Beyond Inc., Walmart Stores Inc., and Macy’s Inc.
Penney said last week that while the products under store brand Royal Velvet pose no safety concerns, it’s giving concerned customers the option of returning them.