• Former ULTA employee says woman in viral photos works at Markets at Town Center store

    By: Jenna Bourne , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    A man who said he used to work at the Markets at Town Center ULTA Beauty said the woman shown in viral images circulating on social media was his coworker there.

    Action News Jax first showed you the images on Friday that appear to show ULTA employees pouring bleach on discarded cosmetics to deter dumpster divers.

    The man’s story provides more evidence for the theory that those images came from the Markets at Town Center.

    “She was a fellow coworker of mine. She still actually works at the store,” he said.

    A woman who supposedly works at ULTA Beauty at the Markets at Town Center on Jacksonville’s southside posted the images, saying, “For all the people who love dumpster diving, here’s our recipe for you. A collection of smashed products covered entirely in bleach. Enjoy your finds.”

    “In the back room, we would take box cutters and, with damaged goods, we would scrape all of the product out and then throw it in the trash, or in a cardboard box,” the former employee told Action News Jax. “As far as what happened after, I asked somebody and they said, ‘Don’t worry. We’ll take care of it.’”

    He asked Action News Jax to conceal his identity out of fear of retaliation, but he wanted people to know it’s important for beauty companies like ULTA to destroy products they can’t re-sell because some dumpster divers are risking their safety for a profit.

    “They’re getting, like, thousands of dollars of free product. And it’s stealing,” he said. “Somebody called in around, like, 7:45 at night and asked when we were throwing our trash out. And the manager was like, ‘Nice try. No.’”

    But he said pouring bleach on them is a dangerous step that his former coworkers don’t need to take.

    An ULTA corporate spokesperson sent the following statement:

    “Health and safety is a top priority for ULTA Beauty, and we strongly discourage the unsafe and sometimes illegal practice of ‘dumpster diving’.

    We are aware that individuals sometimes assume the risks associated with this practice and retrieve discarded products. ULTA Beauty, like other retailers, disposes of products for a reason. 

    All products that are damaged, used, expired or otherwise unsaleable or unsuitable for donation are disposed of in accordance with applicable laws, rules and regulations. 

    These products should never be retrieved or used. Although the veracity of the actions depicted is unclear, they are not consistent with the policies we have in place.”  

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