The Fund for Animals recently released
polling data indicating that high-income shoppers prefer
department stores with socially responsible merchandise
policies and stores that do not sell fur products such as fur
coats and fur-trimmed clothing.
The survey revealed that 54% of consumers consider selling
fur products to be socially irresponsible. By more than a
four-to-one margin, consumers prefer to shop at stores
which do not sell fur.
The preference consumers have for department stores not
selling fur is further evidenced by the fact that 47% of
consumers disapprove of stores selling fur, compared to only
35% who approve.
The survey was conducted by the nationally respected
polling firm, Decision Research. From September 25-27,
2001, researchers interviewed 400 high-income consumers in
four metropolitan areas (Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco
and Washington) where Neiman Marcus operates stores. The
poll has a sampling error of + or – 4.9%.
According to Michael Markarian, executive vice president of
The Fund for Animals, “These results confirm what we have
known all along: that upscale consumers want fashion with
compassion. Neiman Marcus and other retailers should be
responsive to their customers’ needs rather than continue to
be responsible for unnecessary cruelty to animals who suffer
and die for fur. With plenty of warm and fashionable
alternatives, there is simply no reason to wear fur in the
Animals killed for fur coats and fur-trimmed clothing suffer
for hours or days in steel-jawed leghold traps, or live their
entire lives in tiny, barren cages on fur farms. “Their misery
only ends when they are clubbed, stomped, gassed, or
electrocuted,” Markarian pointed out.
The Fund for Animals has requested a meeting with Neiman
Marcus executives in order to discuss the poll results and
help the company improve its image with its upscale
customers who oppose the inhumane treatment of animals
for fur. Added Markarian, “Neiman Marcus prides itself on
being ahead of the curve. The company should show its
leadership in the fashion industry by developing a socially
responsible merchandise policy and no longer selling fur
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