How Do Retailers Bounce Back After The ‘DFC’?

Beta_testingDue to overwhelming response to our last blog “Let’s Talk About Your Saftery – AZO Dyes”, as a supplier of textile products, I’d like to offer some advice to retailers on how to claw back buyer confidence in relation to AZO dyes and reduce the risk of being subject to a product recall which could be financially devastating. Don’t fall victim to the DFC – Dye Financial Crisis

Recently, due to the enormous and very public recall of over 270,000 textile products from major retail chains that contained unacceptable levels of Azo or benzidine-based dyes, retailers and consumers are asking the question:

“Does this product contain AZO dyes?”

Since AZO dyes are not banned in Australia, in fact acceptable levels of AZO dyes are 30mg/kg or 30 parts per million, it is difficult to ascertain just by looking at a product or its labels to determine if it harmful or not, but it is the ethical and moral responsibility of all sellers to ensure the safety of their customers and not provide goods that could potentially cause harm.

For this reason I urge retailers to contact their suppliers of textile products (particularly of products that come into contact with the skin ie bedding, clothing, soft furnishings etc), and ask if they are tested for AZO dyes and if their products are AZO FREE. You are entitled to ask this so you can then confidently pass this information on to customers.

Customers who are unsuccessful in obtaining such information from retailers should contact the supplier of the product directly.

The government body Product Safety Australia have information on their website for consumers as well as businesses including retailers, online retailers, wholesalers, importers, hire companies, property managers and more. I recommend visiting this website for more information and subscribing to email alerts for changes to the product safety system, bans, standards and product testing, law and conduct, legislation, penalties and consequences, media releases, news and to check recent recalls.

Visit Product Safety Australia:
http://www.productsafety.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/970225

For businesses:
http://www.productsafety.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/970798

For Consumers:
http://www.productsafety.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/970797

Report an unsafe product:
http://www.productsafety.gov.au/content/index.phtml/tag/ReportAnUnsafeProduct

Check recent recalls:
http://www.recalls.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/952401

make safe—buy safe—use safe

The excerpt below has been copied directly from the Product Safety Government Website

Retailers: Selling safe products

As a retailer, there are a number of steps you can take to make sure the products you sell are safe.

Ensure you buy compliant products

When ordering products, make sure you specify to suppliers the need for compliance with Australian safety standards and regulations.

Ensure necessary product tests have been done

Many products need testing to check that they are safe. As a retailer you must ensure that the manufacturer or your distributor has done any required tests before supplying the products.

Check the section on mandatory standards to see whether products you intend to sell require testing. If so, ask your supplier for proof of independent testing and certification as well as test reports. You may also need to get copies of relevant standards and other documents to check this.

Check stock before you put it out

You can visually check some safety aspects, such as safety devices and labelling. Check your stock before putting it out on the shop floor or for sale online to ensure all products are safe and comply with mandatory standards.

Be cautious when advertising and marketing

It is illegal to make claims about a product that exaggerate or misrepresent what it is designed to do, so consider all of a product’s key safety aspects before advertising or marketing it.

Advertisements, catalogues and displays

Make sure that any statements about a product and any photos or displays of it show the product exactly as it is when a customer buys it. If a product comes with mandatory safety features or labeling, it may be illegal not to show these.

Marketing and sales

Don’t overstate what a product is capable of, even though it might be tempting to do this when trying to sell it. This can have safety consequences as well as legal ones. Make sure your sales staff members know to avoid this.

Work with your customers

A key difference between retailers and other suppliers is the opportunity to work directly with consumers on product safety.

In the shop

Sales staff can talk to their customers and find out what their product needs are. This way they can help people buy safe products, as well as help them understand how to use the products safely. Many hazards relate to how consumers use products.

You can advise your customers about product safety by having good product knowledge and/or providing printed information at the point of sale.

Online

Retailers selling online have an even easier way to help customers understand the safety of their products. Links to this website and other product safety websites can help make everyone aware of product safety.

Respond to recalls

You can stay aware of product recalls by subscribing to the Product Safety Recalls Australia website.

Remove stock immediately

You must quickly remove any stock affected by a recall. Take the product off sale immediately and store it away securely, so that you or staff do not return it to the floor or website.

Alert your customers

As the interface with consumers, you can help alert customers to any product safety recalls by clearly displaying recall notices in your store and/or on your website.
 

Nicki Richards

Nicki Richards

Director & Co-Founder at Beach Abode Living
Nicki is a self confessed cushion lover, director and co-founder of Beach Abode Living, an Australian owned and operated company, based on the Gold Coast. Specialising in outdoor cushions inspired by the beach and coastal living, the focus is principally on designing and creating unique, functional and affordable products that allow everyone to enjoy and appreciate the great Australian lifestyle. Style is as important with homewares as it is in fashion, so being 'on trend' requires continual development of ideas and designs, through travel, experimentation and collaboration. Favourite Quote: "You can never over-cushion!"
Nicki Richards
Nicki Richards

About Nicki Richards

Nicki is a self confessed cushion lover, director and co-founder of Beach Abode Living, an Australian owned and operated company, based on the Gold Coast. Specialising in outdoor cushions inspired by the beach and coastal living, the focus is principally on designing and creating unique, functional and affordable products that allow everyone to enjoy and appreciate the great Australian lifestyle. Style is as important with homewares as it is in fashion, so being 'on trend' requires continual development of ideas and designs, through travel, experimentation and collaboration. Favourite Quote: "You can never over-cushion!"

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