The Worst of Retail in 2014
The retail industry had some great moments in 2014 — Apple Pay, gains in mobile commerce — however, there were some forgettable decisions made as well. Here's my take on retail's most cringeworthy moments of the year:
Urban Outfitters’ Bloody Mistake
The trendy apparel retailer has been know for pushing the envelope, but this year's bloody Kent State sweatshirt went too far. The tasteless sweatshirt evoked painful memories of the Vietnam War protest at the school in 1970 that saw four students shot and killed by the National Guard. Urban Outfitters lost a lot of business and consumer respect from the episode.
LG Making Fun of ‘Bendgate’
There was no shortage of brands trying to cash in on problems associated with Apple's iPhone 6 (known as "Bendgate"), including LG. The tech company joined in on the fun by tweeting a photo of its LG G Flex phone with the caption, "Our smartphones don't bend, they are naturally curved ;)" However, the joke was on LG when Twitter followers pointed out the joke was tweeted from an iPhone.
Home Depot Data Breach
Over the last year and a half, many retailers have suffered extensive data breaches. Target, Neiman Marcus, Michaels, just to name a few. In September, home improvement retailer Home Depot was the target of cybercriminals. So why does Home Depot make the list and the others don't? It was revealed that former Home Depot employees knew about a possible security breach and shared it with company executives as far back as 2008.
Not to mention Home Depot's chief of IT security was convicted on federal charges of sabotaging his former employer and kept his job. All the while, doing nothing with the information given.
Wal-Mart's ‘Fat Girl’ Costumes
This past Halloween, Wal-Mart found itself in hot water for labeling its women's plus-size Halloween costumes as "Fat Girl Costumes" on its website. The insensitive product category name was immediately removed once it was brought to the attention of Wal-Mart executives, but not before the damage had been done.
Victoria's Secret ‘Perfect Body’ Campaign
In November, Victoria's Secret found itself in the middle of a controversy for its "Perfect Body Campaign." The slogan was intended to be a play on words for the retailer's "Body" lingerie line, but not everybody saw it that way. More than 26,000 people signed a petition on Change.org demanding Victoria's Secret to change the campaign slogan and formerly apologize. While Victoria's Secret did quietly change the slogan, there's been no word on an apology.
What are some of the retail mistakes you remember from 2014? Let us know in the comments section below.