retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Talking about the importance of being able to read the room.

The New York Times reports on how a Taiwanese chain, RT-Mart, "set off a furor" this past week when it decided to add descriptions to various sizes of women's clothing, ranging from small to XXL.

The terms RT-Mart used:  “Slim.” “Beautiful.” “Rotten.” “Extra Rotten.” “Rotten to the Core.”

The story says that when the descriptions hit social media, anger erupted throughout China, where there seem to be growing awareness of body shaming and unreasonably held body aesthetics.  Though apparently, not nearly enough.

The company apologized and removed the descriptions.  No word if someone got fired as a result.  And the Times story, at least, does not suggest that there were the kinds of internal examination of the kind of corporate culture that would allow an employee to even consider such descriptions, much less implement them.

Hard to know if it is too little, too late.

But it certainly is an Eye-Opener.