business news in context, analysis with attitude

In this case, Target's aim seem to have gone astray.

Here's what happened. A shopper - one who describes herself as a "Digital Maven" - noticed that a dress sold by the company online in standard sizes was described as coming in "Dark Heather Grey," while in "plus sizes," the same color was described as "manatee grey."

Susan Clemens tweeted the difference, and the apparent decision by Target to describe the color of a dress that comes in large sizes by using the name of an aquatic mammal often referred to as a "sea cow" went viral. Fast.

Target was paying attention. A spokesperson quickly released a statement pointing out that the color "manatee grey" was used for a number of products, not just women's dresses. And the spokesman said that because different buyers handled "standard sizes" and "plus sizes," the discrepancy was inadvertent. At the same time, Forbes reports, Target "also apologized directly to Clemens, and to its 536,000 other Twitter followers, tweeting, 'We apologize for this unintentional oversight & never intend to offend our guests. We've heard you, and we're working to fix it ASAP.' The fix has been made: On the webpage for the plus-sized version of the dress, which is manufactured exclusively for distribution through Target, the color is simply labeled 'gray'."

Clemens apparently was satisfied: "@Target handled it really well," she tweeted. "I'm still a big fan."
KC's View:
Props to Target for paying attention and moving fast when things started going bad. Go into a shell, or indulge in denial, and this thing can go bad nine different ways. but deal with it fast, and you are able to manage it on your own terms.

Also ... Target gets credit for giving credit to its shoppers for bringing attention to the problem .... the words "we've heard you, and we're working to fix it ASAP" have enormous power.