This morning I was putting away some goods I bought this past weekend during a suburban shopping trip with the wife. As I was de-tagging and de-stickering a pair of Gap jeans, I noticed that sewn inside was another tag marked “DON”T SHOP AT GAP ANYMORE”.

Actually, the tag was labeled “REMOVE BEFORE WASHING OR WEARING”. It”s a security tag sewn into the garment that has to be removed by the purchaser before wearing. Apparently The Gap has joined J Crew and others in requiring that its customers shoulder the burden of protecting their goods from shoplifters.

Cap”n don”t play that.

It”s not my responsibility to protect Gap”s merchandise from shoplifters. If the store wants to put a security tag on something and then remove it when I check out, that”s fine. But don”t demand that I carry the burden of removing your security tag.

Because I won”t. Just like how I won”t buy anything at Kroger that they”ve slapped a non-sale “EVERYDAY LOW PRICE!” tag on the shelf to make it look like it”s on sale, there”s a principle involved here. So I guess I”ll have to start checking out those items at The Gap for hidden sewn-in tags. Maybe the first time I find one I”ll tell the check-out girl to remove it and see what kind of reaction I get.

But I won”t knowingly leave the store with one of those attached again. And that probably means I just won”t buy it.

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