retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The New York Times reports that Home Depot has been "scrambling to apologize after a message sent from the company’s primary Twitter account, @HomeDepot, was criticized as racially insensitive.

"The message, part of a college football promotion, included a picture of two African-American men and a person in a gorilla suit drumming on overturned buckets, with a caption that read, 'which drummer is not like the others?'

"The tweet, which went out midday on Thursday, was quickly deleted. Within hours, Home Depot apologized publicly and said it had fired the people who sent it out."

The company said that "the outside agency that created the tweet and the Home Depot associate who posted it have been terminated. We’re also closely reviewing our social media procedures to determine how this could have happened, and how to ensure it never happens again."


• Meanwhile, the athletic apparel retailer Lululemon Athletica is grappling with negative reaction in social media to comments made by its founder, Chip Wilson, to Bloomberg that struck some people as harsh.

When discussing a "pilling" problem - fabric that wore to the point of being sheer - with some yoga pants, Wilson said, "It's really about the rubbing through the thighs, how much pressure is there over a period of time and how much they use it." And, he added, "Quite frankly, some women's bodies just actually don't work for it (his clothing). They don't work for some women's bodies."

The problem, apparently, is this isn't what Lululemon salespeople are saying to customers. The usual sales pitch, the story suggests, is that Lululemon's pants are flattering to women with a wide variety of body shapes.
KC's View:
Two very different scenarios, though they are linked by the fact that they are creating a national conversation.

In the case of Hope Depot, it is hard to image what these morons were thinking when they sent out that tweet. There may be some people who would find such a thing to be funny, but they are idiots.

As for Lululemon … sounds like Chip Wilson has been taking sensitivity lessons from Michael Jeffries, CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch.