(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Increased incidents of substance abuse, theft, and vandalism have prompted Goodwill locations across the state to shut down their fitting rooms. Goodwill customers are now expressing their opinions on this measure, with some appreciating the safety precautions, while others find it inconvenient.

The surge in fitting room misuse has been a growing concern for Goodwill. According to Goodwill Colorado Communications Manager, Bradd Hafer, from the beginning of 2023 through May, theft volume has nearly doubled, causing both financial losses and operational disruptions.

Hafer says the safety of both customers and staff is at risk due to these activities that go beyond the purpose of trying on clothes.

The escalating issues within the fitting rooms have diverted Goodwill staff from their primary mission of serving the community. Some staff members were obligated to handle cleanup, mitigation, safety, loss, and risk prevention duties in the fitting rooms, which were not originally part of their responsibilities.

Customer opinions are divided regarding the fitting room closures. Those conditioned by pandemic-era policies appreciate the safety measures. They believe the closure is a necessary step to ensure the safety of all customers.

However, other customers are frustrated by the inconvenience caused by the lack of fitting rooms. Some express the difficulty of purchasing clothes for themselves and their children without the option to try them on beforehand.

Will the fitting rooms ever open again? Goodwill officials clarify that the reopening of fitting rooms depends on a societal shift away from the current transgressions. If the incidents decrease and the store space becomes safer, they would gladly unlock and open the fitting rooms for customers’ convenience.

However, this decision remains contingent on the overall improvement in security.

In light of the fitting room closures, Goodwill Colorado has shared some shopping hacks on their Instagram account: @goodwillcolorado to help customers ensure their clothes fit.

Starting Wednesday, Aug 2, the organization has extended its return policy to 14 days to accommodate customers’ needs.