Cape Town – Shoprite Holdings has issued an apology in response to what seemed to be an offensive Mother’s Day display that drew harsh criticism online, which they say was simply a misunderstanding.
Earlier this week, one Twitter user shared a picture seemingly showing home cleaning products being advertised as possible gifts for Mother’s Day.
— AP du Plessis (@ap1pel) May 7, 2018
Checkers subsequently posted a comment on Twitter saying, “Oh dear, this is not what our Mother’s Day display should look like. We will rectify this as soon as the correct branch is identified.”
They also posted images of what the display should have looked like.
Oh dear, this is not what our Mother's Day display should look like. We will rectify this as soon as the correct branch is identified. Please see the promotion here https://t.co/aaPAgglju0 This is what our display should look like 👇 pic.twitter.com/1MmjIry0rJ
— Checkers (@CheckersSA) May 9, 2018
In a statement released on Wednesday, Shoprite holdings claimed the image was simply a misunderstanding.
“The Mother’s Day photo circulating on social media was taken at the Checkers Van Der Lingen store in Paarl on Friday, 4 May 2018 while the store was moving a Mother’s Day display from the back to the front of the store ahead of Mother’s Day this Sunday,” the statement said.
“The merchandise was moved and the posters were only moved afterwards. During the remerchandising, the photo circulated was taken.”
Twitter users, however, have been lambasting the supermarket chain. One user went as far as suggesting it was a marketing stunt.
“Having a lot of advertising experience, I can tell that this is a marketing stunt. We sharing & debating about this mothers’ day display at Checkers and those select brands are getting much exposure, I wont be surprised if there’s a deal between those brands and Checkers (sic),” said Twitter user @valoyee
Having a lot of advertising experience, I can tell that this is a marketing stunt. We sharing & debating about this mothers' day display at Checkers and those select brands are getting much exposure,I wont be surprised if there's a deal between those brands and Checkers. pic.twitter.com/9EuXvOBp3X
— Eno (@valoyee) May 9, 2018
“We understand how the original photo could be misconstrued and for that we apologise. The photo was taken in the process of the display being moved. It was never our intention to put up a Mother’s Day display consisting of cleaning products,” Shoprite Holdings said.