When you walk into Walmart, you expect to see aisles of neatly stacked goods and smiling employees ready to help you find what you’re looking for. What you don’t expect is to find something lurking in the clothes section. But that’s exactly what happened when one shopper spotted something shocking hidden in a graphic tee. Walmart wasted no time in jumping to remove it from their shelves, but you never know what else could be lurking on the shelves at Walmart. It’s clear that even the largest retailers can’t always predict what surprises their products might hold.
A Walmart shopper recently went viral after they noticed an insult hidden in an innocent green graphic tee with “RE” printed on it. After the customer posted it to Twitter it causing panic and shock among shoppers. In response, Walmart removed the t-shirt from their stores, but not before some enterprising customers managed to get their hands on one of these rare finds.
Controversy often follows a hidden message – especially when it’s printed on a shirt available for purchase at Walmart. This past April 3rd, @whosurdaddienow made a post on Twitter that quickly went viral after people began to notice the unintentional initialism featured prominently on one Walmart t-shirt.
The green graphic tee appeared to promote recycling with “RE” printed in large letters, but social media users soon realized that when read acrostically from top to bottom there was another terrible message concealed within.
The front side of the shirt featured four endings to the “RE” suffix: “cycle”, “use”, “new” and “think”. Taken together this spelled out an offensive phrase that has since been left out of all further news reporting regarding this incident lest it become associated even more strongly with Walmart’s corporate brand. It seems unlikely that this mistake was made intentionally, as no company would be willing to put its name behind such hateful language even by accident.
In response to this disaster, a spokesperson for Walmart released a statement denying any malicious intent behind the phrase printed on the tees: “This was not intentional, and the t-shirt has been removed,” they said.”For context, this item was only available in Canada.” It seems as though most of those who attempted or succeeded in obtaining one of these shirts were Canadian residents as well as Twitter users who stumbled upon @whosurdaddienow’s picture of the t-shirt and reacted with shock.
Far from being dismayed by their find however many social media users who saw the tweet responded with amused enthusiasm if not outright admiration for those lucky enough to have found themselves an unintentionally hilarious graphic tee – and those smart enough to recognize it what it actually meant once pointed out to them by fellow commentators.
The original poster tweeted: “I need this shirt before Walmart realizes what they have done.”
Another simply reacted with stunned disbelief at seeing something so ridiculous being sold under such a large company’s logo: “Unbelievable.”
Some commenters took longer than others to spot what had been written across than small tee; showing just how hard it is sometimes catch something like this even when you know it’s there – much less when you don’t suspect anything untoward could possibly exist underneath all those bold letters spelling out ‘re’.
The George brand owned by major retailer Walmart stocks clothing items both in ASDA supermarkets across the UK and Canadian Walmarts meaning that numerous people might’ve seen or purchased this awful T-shirt without ever realizing what had been printed underneath until now – making for quite an embarrassing situation for both brands involved and throwing into sharp focus how important double checking your designs can be whether you’re creating something yourself or approving mass produced items for sale at retail stores like these establishments.
Though we might never know exactly how this unfortunate series of events began (or why someone thought printing anything more than just those simple 4 words beside RE was necessary) we can still enjoy the collective reactions shared over social media platforms right here right now – including such gems as “Wowwww , as someone that prints clothing for a living, I’m amazed this made it to the shop floor. they had to know surely?!” and “Someone is getting fired”.
It goes without saying that mistakes like these should be avoided wherever possible – particularly when printing something mass produced onto multiple garments which will then go up for sale in multiple retail locations across whole countries! Despite our collective pleasure taken from noticing such unexpected twists of fate however we must remember too our responsibility as retailers and designers alike always remain vigilant against crossing any lines between laughably ironic and legitimately offensive – no matter how well intentioned we may think ourselves otherwise!
Let’s continue this conversation, in the comments below.