Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. was not aware of the origins of the image when we stocked the t-shirt in question.
Respect for the individual is a core value of our company and we would never have placed this t-shirt on our shelves had we known the origin and significance of this emblem.
We immediately began pulling all t-shirts from the store shelves 11 weeks ago and have reached 99.5% compliance. Our records show that some 1100 shirts remain in the system, although we have issued a register restriction so the shirts cannot be purchased.
When we heard yesterday that some stores still had some of the shirts in inventory, we reissued the return-to-vendor directive. Our fashion merchandising team will reiterate the issue in their weekly video to stores.
Item: Here's something from the following week where a store hadn't even heard of the recall.
Yikes -- I was going to play devil's advocate and give WM the benefit of doubt because I thought those might have been much-discussed "88" shirts, which unless you're in the know, doesn't seem to be the least Nazi.
After all, I had to look up that 420 means to some people.
But the totenskopf? Not so much.
Wal-Mart must be looking to mooch the GE tag line--"We bring good things to life."
Actually, I would have had no idea that the skull image was associated with Nazism, so for some us it's still pretty obscure.
Really, if I were a graphic designer for a clothing line, I would be careful with any emblem dealing with violence and death if there was a fear of public blowback.
So put more broadly, I can understand a misunderstanding with numbers -- and anyway 88 would be auspicious to a Chinese clientele -- but a defleshed, dead human head deserves a Googling.
But none of this speaks to my strong dislike for Walmart, so that'll be my last word on the.
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