Target announced on Aug. 19 that it has ended its relationship with Indian textiles company Welspun, after an investigation revealed that the company was supplying fake Egyptian cotton 500-thread count bed sheets for its consumers.
The second largest discount retailer in the United States—behind Walmart—was unaware that the Mumbai-based company was supplying bed sheets made from fake Egyptian cotton under the Fieldcrest label for Target for nearly two years, beginning in August of 2014. The phony product is a violation of Target’s Code of Conduct and its Standards of Vendor Engagement.
“After an extensive investigation, we recently confirmed that Welspun substituted another type of non-Egyptian cotton when producing these sheets between August 2014 and July 2016,” Target said in a statement. “We have informed Welspun that, due to this conduct, we are in the process of terminating our relationship with them.”
Following the investigation, Target removed the counterfeit products from its store shelves and its online retailer, and are offering refunds to customers who purchased the bed sheets between August 2014 and July of this year.
To obtain a refund, customers who purchased any sheets between the aforementioned time frame should fill out and submit this web form and will subsequently receive a refund in the form of a gift card.
According to its website, Welspun is a $3 billion company and a leading supplier to 14 of the top 30 U.S. retailers, making it one of the largest textile manufacturers in the world. Some of its retailers include: Bed Bath & Beyond, Walmart, JCPenney, Kohl’s, and Macy’s.
Shares in Welspun India fell by 20 percent after Target announced that it will cut ties with the company. Welspun issued a statement on Aug. 20 that it was investigating a product specification issue with one unnamed client program of a subsidiary.
“We have initiated immediate actions to investigate the root cause. We are appointing an external auditor (one of the Big Four) to audit our supply systems and processes,” Welspun said. “This is an issue of highest priority for us and we will take all necessary steps to address it.”
The statement continued: “We have an impeccable record of supplying quality products to our customers globally for over two decades. We reiterate our commitment to the highest standards of customer service and compliance.”