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In a dramatic turnaround, food and clothing retailer Woolworths has decided that it will go back on its earlier decision to withdraw Christian magazines from its shelves, and will instead continue to offer all the titles that it had decided to drop.
All day long the conversation has been going on, filling pages and pages of comments on the Facebook page, ranging from the thoughtful to the ridiculous. The conversation had clearly spilled out of the company’s control and it decided to take action.
In a short statement on Facebook, where most of the conversation has been taking place, the retail giant posted this comment:
We have been overwhelmed by the response. Thanks to everyone who has supported us – we really appreciate it. It was not our intention to offend any religious group. Woolies has a deep regard for all faiths and will continue to respect all our customers’ beliefs. We’ve always prided ourselves on listening to our customers and we really do want our social media pages to be a 2-way conversation. As a retailer, we continually review all our products including magazines and stock products that our customers want and buy. You posted – we listened and have now decided to put all magazines back on our shelves. We will continue to take a retailer’s view on our catalogue going forward to ensure we stock the magazines that most of our customers want.
Georgina Muirhead, Social Media Manager for Woolworths told Memeburn that the company is very focussed on its online reputation and prides itself on listening to its customers. So as a result, the faith-based magazines will be restocked on the shelves and their status “will be reviewed on an ongoing basis”.
This about-turn follows hot on the heels of the decision by American clothing retailer Gap to revert to its old logo after an outpouring of scorn and derision through their social media channels, and underlines the power of social media.
You can read the full Gap story here.
What do you think? Has the company done the right thing, or should they have waited for the storm to blow over?