Five retailers that missed the mark in 2018

05 November 2018 - 06:00 By Ntokozo Miya
Pick 'n Pay has apologised for mugs that were on shelves in stores across the country.
Pick 'n Pay has apologised for mugs that were on shelves in stores across the country.
Image: Bongi Mogale via Twitter

In classic 'his' and 'hers' style, Pick 'n Pay gave its customers 'the maid' and 'the gardener' range of coffee mugs, But it didn't go down well with people on social media after a shopper shared an image of the mugs on Twitter, which then went viral. 

Amid the backlash on Twitter, Pick 'n Pay promptly responded in series of tweets.

"We can confirm that these mugs have been removed from the store and are not stocked in any other Pick 'n Pay stores."

The retailer acknowledged that the mugs were "completely unacceptable."

It's not the first time a retailing giant has found itself in hot water this year. Here's four incidents in 2018 that landed retailers in hot water.

H&M

When international clothing brand H&M advertised their kiddies hoodie on their online store in January, outrage soon followed.

The photo that H&M used on their website sales campaign showed a black child wearing a green sweater with the words "coolest monkey in the jungle". 

The company later apologised.

"The image has now been removed from all H&M channels and we apologise to anyone this may have offended."

Popular US rapper The Weeknd was not moved. 

Local hip-hop star Cassper Nyovest even offered H&M an alternative to the offensive hoodie.

The advert led to H&M stores being boycotted locally as well as violent protests taking place, where stores in South Africa were looted.

Zara

In April, fashion retailer Zara was called out on the similarities between their Zara Man socks and those of local designer Laduma Ngxokolo.

Brand Leadership founder, Thebe Ikalafeng, tagged Zara on Instagram and slammed what he called "copycat designs."

"There's a big difference between taking inspiration and illegal expropriation."

Ngxokolo has received international recognition for his clothing label, MaXhosa, under which he made the socks. 

From left: MSock 3.1 by Maxhosa by Laduma, and men's socks from Zara.
From left: MSock 3.1 by Maxhosa by Laduma, and men's socks from Zara.
Image: @thebeikalafeng/Instagram

Checkers 

In May, Checkers was accused of sexism after it promoted household cleaning gifts for Mother's Day.

An image of a display in a Paarl branch of Checkers went viral, with South African's slamming the "sexist" promotion.

After featuring on social media trends list, the supermarket chain apologised for the incident.

In a statement Checkers said "the intention was never to put up a Mother's Day display consisting of cleaning products" and that it understood how the image doing the rounds could be misconstrued.

Shoprite

A rat was seen on pastries at a Shoprite store in Yeoville‚ Johannesburg.
A rat was seen on pastries at a Shoprite store in Yeoville‚ Johannesburg.
Image: Twitter/@Simphiwe_Chef

Imagine popping in at Shoprite to grab a snack from the bakery. While waiting to be served, you see a rat feasting away at the gingerbread biscuits. That's exactly what happened when a customer decided to get a treat at the Yeoville Shoprite store. Photographs of the hungry rat spread like wildfire on social media, leaving the retailer with little choice but to, you guessed it, apologise.

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