Should Neiman’s Take Back $1.4 Million in Cheating Husband’s Gifts?
Bedridden for nearly three years after a car wreck, Patricia Walker alleges her husband had an affair with her personal shopper, who earned a commission on every gift Mr. Walker bought his wife.
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Any wife whose husband bought her $1.4 million in gifts while he was having an affair may take exception to the guilty pampering, even if they came from Neiman-Marcus.
But it was even worse than that for University Park’s Patricia Walker. Not only did her husband’s affair happen while she was bedridden from a car accident, but his alleged mistress was her own Neiman-Marcus personal shopper.
Short of hairdresser, psychologist, or sister, what could be more of a violation? How about the fact that the mistress would have also earned commission on each gift? Or that Walker’s husband used his wife’s account to make the purchases?
As Brett Shipp of WFAA first reported, Walker, who has already been divorced, is now suing Neiman’s, which, while “famous for taking back almost any returned item,” has refused Walker’s return request.
Walker’s lawyer, Mark Ticer, told Shipp that she customarily spent around $100,000 annually at Neiman’s, but those charges began to rise after her husband allegedly became involved with the personal shopper, Favi Lo.
“In 2009, still convalescing, the sales by Ms. Lo reach about $850,000,” Ticer said. “The product of these sales is sex for merchandise. Second of all, it’s a breach of trust.”
Picking up on WFAA’s coverage, ABC News’ Alyssa Newcomb wrote that:
The bonanza of luxury goods, from $285 pajamas to crystal sculptures and enough jewelry to fill a store’s display case, now sits unused in storage. Much of it isn’t even Walker’s taste, Ticer said.
Neiman Marcus sent employees to look at the merchandise Walker had requested to return, but the store never followed through or offered an explanation for not taking the items back, Ticer said.
“The real villain in this case is Neiman Marcus,” Ticer said. “After learning of this affair decided they weren’t going to do anything about it.”
Ticer said Lo was not disciplined and continues to work at the retailer’s NorthPark Mall location.
Neiman’s has declined to comment on the case. Linda Stewart Ball of the Associated Press reported that both the company and Lo denied the allegations in court papers and “said Walker’s deceptive trade practices claim is groundless.”
Neiman’s legendary generosity aside, the store does have a written return policy, which states that “if for any reason you are not satisfied, we will gladly accept your timely return of unworn, unwashed, or defective merchandise.”
But the company does not leave “timely” open to interpretation: after 61 days you can only get back 75 percent of the purchase price, after 121 days, fifty percent, and “merchandise returned more than six months after the delivery date will be shipped back to you at your expense.”
Watch the original WFAA report: