Sears Holding Co. said Friday it will work with Toledo-area and national charities to distribute discarded store clothing after a Sylvania woman this week found piles of new clothes stuffed into a trash bin behind the retailer's store in Perrysburg.
"Those clothes were thrown away in error," said Kim Freely, a Sears spokesman. "We're fixing it, and we'll be donating the clothes and more to Good360." Good360 is a national charity that works with retailers to redistribute discarded merchandise.
The clothes were found in the bin Thursday by Joni Meyer-Crothers, who gained fame in 2011 when she was featured on the TLC cable network show Extreme Couponing.
Mrs. Meyer-Crothers said several contacts had alerted her to the clothing in the trash bin behind the Sears Outlet store in the Perrysburg Marketplace Shopping Center and she went to see for herself.
"I couldn't believe it. It was totally full of brand new clothes with tags still on them," she said. "From what I could see, everything on the top was totally fine."
She said she spoke to the manager and was told the clothing was outdated and was being thrown out. Mrs. Meyer-Crothers said she asked to be given the clothing to take to Timberlake Church, which is coordinating the collection of clothes for families displaced by a fire Sunday at the Hidden Cedars Condominiums complex in Springfield Township.
But she said she was told that taking the clothing was against Sears' policy. "The manager was very apologetic, and he knew about the fire," Mrs. Meyer-Crothers said.
Undeterred, Mrs. Meyer-Crothers contacted local media and tried to contact Sears.
Ms. Freely said the retailer was unaware that the clothing was being thrown away and has had a long relationship with Good360 to dispose of out-of-season merchandise.